Phil Jackson believes that the New York Knicks’ recent trade for Derrick Rose will be “reinvigorating.” After Anthony had expressed multiple times his concern over the future of the franchise, the Knicks president hopes that this trade will offer assurances into the immediate future of the Knicks, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.
“We’ve talked about that a little bit. ‘Are we moving fast enough to accomplish goals that you have for yourself and your career?’ Melo and I have talked about that: whether we’re on the right time frame with him, is he disappointed or whatever? I think this is a positive move,” Jackson said. “He sees that as a positive move. I think that’s reinvigorating for him. I think it’s good.”
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported on Thursday that Jackson told Rose he will be going after free agent Kevin Durant as well.
Melo averaged only 21.8 points per game last season, his lowest total since his sophomore NBA season, as the Knicks finished 32-50. The rest of the trade with the Bulls included guard Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round draft choice in exchange for guards Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant, as well as center Robin Lopez.
Jackson says the Knicks would be interested in handing Rose a long-term contract, as he only has one season left on his current deal, which will pay him $21.3 million.
“This is about a season ahead of us. And Derrick’s got a drive in him. I know he’s going to want to do well. And we’ll cross that as we go along into next year,” Jackson told Begley. “Yeah, we’d like to have a long-term [deal], and that’s certainly one of the great things about it. But there’s all the possibilities down the road of what’s going to happen to the NBA in the future years.”
The Knicks had been considering trading for Rose even before hiring Jeff Hornacek as head coach. But with Hornacek now in charge, Rose’s acquisition should help the Knicks increase their pace of play, which is an objective for the new coach.
So how will Rose fit in with the Knicks, who are still massively in flux heading into July 1? It could all come down to the former MVP’s health, which has been a question ever since that special season five years ago. As for assurances for Melo, Rose’s acquisition could be enough to keep him happy, at least for the time being with all of that cap space still in play.