The Detroit Pistons have just agreed to trade Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks in exchange for Dennis Smith, Jr and a second round pick. This trade reunites Derrick Rose with his old coach Tom Thibodeau, and can only be considered a win-win trade for both teams. Rose’s first stint with the Knicks came in the 2016-2017 season.
Dennis Smith, Jr was drafted with the 9th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks, from North Carolina State University. In his first season with the Mavericks, Smith, Jr averaged 15.2 points, 5.2 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and had a seemingly great career and future ahead of him. Unfortunately, something happened in 2018, something great for Mavericks fans but bad for Smith, Jr personally. On draft night of 2018, the Mavericks were able to trade their #5 pick, Trae Young, for the #3 pick, Luka Doncic, who would go on to win the Rookie of the Year Award. While Smith, Jr made the All-Rookie Team his first year, he was no Luka, who would go on to become a member of the All-NBA First Team and an All-Star in his second season. Luka was also a ball-dominant guard/forward, and the backcourt of Doncic and Smith, Jr couldn’t exist. So, Smith, Jr was dealt to the New York Knicks in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, along with Deandre Jordan, Wes Matthews, and two-first round picks.
As a matter of fact, Smith, Jr was getting so little playing time in New York that he requested to go to the G League bubble in Orlando so that he could get more playing time, keep his skills honed, and have other teams around the league look at him. However, Smith, Jr is now going to Detroit, where Killian Hayes is out for the season and Detroit’s current best point guard is Delon Wright. Smith, Jr can play well when he has the ball in his hands, and his energy and will to play will hopefully give Detroit a boost they desperately need.
On the New York side of the trade, Thibodeau has been reunited with his former MVP point guard, again. It’s no secret in the NBA that Thibodeau wants to remake his early 2010s Bulls with a young Jimmy Butler and an MVP Derrick Rose. Rose has already played under Thibodeau once after departing from the Bulls, in Minnesota. This time around, New York also has Taj Gibson, who was on the early 2010 Bulls team as well. Who knows? Maybe New York will be able to sign Jimmy Butler. Whatever the case, Rose brings veteran leadership and can distribute the ball, as well as score when necessary.
Both teams are middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference, though the Pistons are considerably worse. This trade most likely won’t cause too much of an impact, but Smith, Jr’s stats should go up a hefty amount and the Knicks might just make the playoffs, as unfathomable as it sounds.
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