Should Mavs Pursue Trade for Derrick Rose Amid Knicks Guard Logjam?

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The Dallas Mavericks could use another impactful guard to pair with Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie. What about New York Knicks’ Derrick Rose?

The New York Knicks made a backcourt change in the offseason that readers of may have heard of. After bringing Jalen Brunson into the fold, there appears to be a potential need to rebalance their guard depth behind him. 

With Brunson (33.5) and R.J. Barrett (34.9) each averaging significant minutes, there isn’t much room for other guard options. Immanuel Quickley (21.2) and Evan Fournier (20.7) each are averaging over 20 minutes, too. Rose used to fill a role with a similar amount of playing time but has faced a reduced workload.

The Knicks haven’t utilized Rose much this season with how many young backcourt options they have in their bench behind Jalen Brunson. Rose has appeared in 11 games and is averaging just 12.7 minutes — nearly half his average of 24.5 minutes from a season ago. 

“I’m in the unknown, trying to stay focused, give my all every day, talking to the guys, being vocal like I said earlier on in the year,” Rose said on Thursday. “Trying to communicate to them what I see on the floor, but yeah, this is new — foreign — for me.”

Rose has struggled to make much of an impact in his reduced role. He’s averaging 6.0 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists while shooting 38.2 percent from the floor and 35.5 percent from 3-point range. 

“I think the role that he’s in, it’ll work itself out,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Some games it’ll be more, some games it’ll maybe less.”

When looking beyond the surface, Rose has struggled to convert on catch-and-shoot jump shots or finish at the rim so far this season. However, he’s been highly efficient on pull-up jumpers. Again, the sample sizes are very small overall, but on a team that lacks floor spacing, his skill-set isn’t maximized. 

“Just got to stay ready, find a way to stay ready,” Rose said. “It’s like everything, forcing me to evolve into who knows, what knows? But I always take it as a challenge where I’ve just got to find a way to stay ready.”

In a recent trade speculation piece, NBA Analysis Network put together a trade idea that would send Derrick Rose to the Dallas Mavericks. The deal would send Davis Bertans and a 2025 first-round pick swap to the New York Knicks. 

New York Knicks Receive: F Davis Bertans, 2025 First-Round Pick (Swap – DAL)

Dallas Mavericks Receive: G Derrick Rose

The idea behind such a trade would be for Rose to fill the role of being a third guard behind Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie that can attack off the dribble and generally make plays. He has found success later in his career in a sixth man role, even being named a finalist for 6th Man of the Year in 2021.

There likely are few NBA teams that would genuinely have interest in giving Bertans rotation minutes at this stage. He is already 30 and while he’s solidified himself as a sharpshooter from 3-point range, he’s so one-dimensional offensively that it limits his ability to make an impact in that regard.

Given that Bertans is in the third year of a five-year, $80 million contract, he holds significantly negative trade value. Only $5 million of his 2024-25 final-year salary is guaranteed, creating potential for relief for his team if he were to exercise his $16 million player option. Regardless, a team needs to be incentivized in order to take on his contract. 

Rose, 34, is signed for $14.5 million this season but does have a team option worth $15.6 million for 2023-24. The Mavs could decide to exercise that option, or simply decline it and clear all of that spending room. Another option could be to negotiate a new contract for a lower annual cost.

In this trade idea, the pick swap would give the Knicks the option of using the Mavs’ selection if it were to end up being better than their pick in 2025. Rose surely lacks much for trade value himself, but again, the ability to get out of his contract after the season goes a long way in a differential in value. 

The Mavs would benefit from moving Bertans for a more useful skill-set. However, Rose is not among the top options on the list of guards to pursue considering his age, but still makes sense to consider. It just is difficult to gauge the quality of options out there when including Bertans deal in a package without sacrificing significant draft capital.  

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