Former NBA MVP Derrick Rose looks to be on his way toward a reunion with his former coach, Tom Thibodeau, in a second go-round with the New York Knicks. On Sunday, The Athletic's Shams Charania tweeted that his current club, the Detroit Pistons, are "nearing agreement on deal" to send Rose to the Big Apple in exchange for point guard and former No. 9 overall pick Dennis Smith Jr.
James Edwards of The Athletic also contributed to the report.
After experiencing something of a career resurgence over the last two-plus years, Rose has faced an uncertain future in recent weeks as Pistons coach Dwane Casey has held him out of three straight contests. When called upon, though, the 32-year-old has shown that he can still be a regularly contributing member of an NBA roster.
As tracked by Basketball-Reference, Rose is averaging 22.4 points, 6.6 assists and nearly two steals per 36 minutes over 15 appearances for Detroit this season. However, his efficiency has been down in 2020-21, as he is currently logging an effective field goal percentage of just 46.5 after posting career-high marks in each of the previous two campaigns.
Moreover, the Pistons appear to be headed for a full-scale rebuild as the team has scuffled to a league-worst 5-18 start. During that stretch, aging former All-Star Blake Griffin has struggled mightily and the club as a whole has ranked in the bottom 10 league-wide, both offensively and defensively.
Given those circumstances, they have little need for a veteran back-up like Rose. Meanwhile, the Knicks have surprisingly found themselves in the playoff hunt. Additionally, Thibodeau previously aided Rose in his comeback with the Minnesota Timberwolves after having coached him to elite status in his early career with the Chicago Bulls.
If the trade ultimately comes to fruition, it could represent a fresh start for Smith as well.
After starting for the Dallas Mavericks as a rookie and continuing to produce as a second-year pro, Smith eventually fell out of favor with head coach Rick Carlisle and was dealt to New York. He finished the 2018-19 campaign as the Knicks starting point guard, but has seen his minutes and role with the team shrink in subsequent seasons.
To date, he's logged just 28 total minutes on the court over three appearances in '20-21.
In late January, the 23-year-old had requested that his club allow him to join its developmental affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, in the G League bubble so he could audition for other teams. Now, it seems he won't have to make the trip to Orlando.
With Detroit, he'll likely be given a better opportunity to show he still has the potential to be a franchise floor general.