Jalen Brunson, the free agent point guard, is reportedly set to meet with the Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, and New York Knicks on Thursday in search of his next contract. However, it has become the consensus in media circles that Brunson will be joining the Knicks for next season.
Brunson will be making at least $22 million per year depending on where he lands. If he comes to New York, he will be getting paid even more than that, so he will have a huge role on the team as the starter. This means one of two things: Either Immanuel Quickley will be criminally underutilized again by playing as a backup shooting guard, or Derrick Rose will be traded.
Derrick Rose might be the next New York Knicks veteran to be traded
Yeah, I said it. I know a lot of us are going to be in our feelings just thinking about it, but it looks like Rose isn’t going to be around long.
Now, there is no guarantee that Rose is moved. Clearly, his biggest fan is still the head coach and Rose has earned the admiration that he receives from fans and that he likely receives from the entire front office as well.
But, a potential Rose trade is all about what the front office’s plans are for their young players. It is evident that the plan is to sign the 25-year-old Brunson and play him starter minutes since they’ll be paying him max money. That leaves youngsters Quickley and Miles McBride in question.
The deal with McBride is obvious; he won’t be seeing the court much unless there are significant injuries to the rotation. It is the amount of commitment that Leon Rose and company has to Quickley’s development that will determine whether or not he is playing 41 games in the Garden next season.
If the statement that Leon and the Knicks released publicly following the 2022 NBA Draft is any indication, then it could mean the writing is on the wall for a D-Rose trade.
In this statement, Leon specifically addressed the success we saw from Quickley and others to close the 2021-22 season. He says the “focus [is to feed] off of the momentum from the end of last season and prioritizing our player development program.”
If we are to trust this front office and take Leon at his word, then New York is going to finally let the kids play next year. If Quickley is going to get consistent burn in high volume, then the team has no choice but to make another trade to make that possible.
Brunson takes the opportunity away for Quickley to start at point guard, but IQ can still get more playing time as long as the proper changes are made with the rotation by getting rid of one more player. That player has to be either Rose or Evan Fournier.
It’s rumored that the Knicks are willing to continue their veteran fire sale by moving on from Fournier. If you can remove him, that’s a ton of more minutes available not just for Quickley, but for Quentin Grimes and Cam Reddish as well.
But, personally, I would rather see Rose traded between the two as it will allow for Quickley to get plenty of time as the lead ball handler as a backup to Brunson. And if they somehow don’t sign Brunson, then Plan B should be to hand the keys to Quickley as the starter.
Rose can stay and continue to be a fantastic backup in that scenario. Brunson is likely on the way, though, which means that another veteran needs to be sacrificed to make room for him and to allow the young players to get their shot at improvement.
Unfortunately, that veteran (for now) isn’t going to be Julius Randle, and Fournier could be a hard sell for other teams at the moment (he also still fits incredibly well on this team no matter what direction the Knicks go in). For further development to truly occur, and for Leon to stick to his word, then it looks like Knicks fans need to prepare for Derrick Rose to be on his way out of New York.