The Toronto Raptors should look to be buyers at the deadline, as there are plenty of quality guards, Detroit Pistons veteran Derrick Rose among them, that can pack a punch off of the bench. Unfortunately for Masai Ujiri and the Raptors, the rival New York Knicks might end up beating them to the punch.
Rose has spent the early parts of this season as a reserve for a rebuilding Pistons team, averaging 14.2 points and 4.2 assists per game on 42 percent shooting. Based on the latest buzz, Rose might be making a return to New York in order to play for an old coach and push for a playoff spot.
Rose is likely off to the New York Knicks, as the Pistons decided to get some more assets for the rebuild. Meanwhile, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached Rose during his MVP-caliber Chicago years and brought him to Minnesota, will link back up with one of his pet projects. Will this come back to bite Toronto?
Derrick Rose going to the Knicks could hurt the Toronto Raptors
Rose is clearly not going to play like an MVP anymore, but he remains an effective scorer. He still has plenty of his trademark athletic ability that helps him get to the rim. A more efficient shooter than he was with the Bulls, as evidenced by his 33 percent clip from deep this season, Rose would’ve been a valuable member of Toronto’s bench.
While it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to assume that Toronto’s sub-.500 record and displacement wouldn’t be attractive for a player seeking a ring like Rose, he is likely heading to a team that will struggle to stay above .500 in the same tough division as Toronto.
While Rose wouldn’t offer Toronto much help on the defensive end, he could help a much-maligned bench gain some consistency and quality, all the while helping get his running mates open looks by penetrating in the lane and kicking out to an open man.
The Knicks might not be a championship threat yet, but they have a ferocious defense, and adding Rose to give them more juice on the offensive end only makes them more difficult to defend from Toronto’s perspective. There’s a limited number of playoff spots to go around, and Toronto might get squeezed out.
The Raptors need to make some additions, as it could be the difference between the playoffs and spending the summer at home. Rose comes with some baggage, and he might not have fixed all of their problems, but he would’ve given them a reliable hand off the bench that can run point when Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet are out. Instead, he’ll try to help out a division rival.