After weeks of speculation the Knicks stayed quiet and did not make a move by Thursday's 3 pm Trade Deadline. It was expected that the Knicks would make some type of move given their season is going nowhere, but it wasn't surprising to see them do nothing. The chances of a Carmelo Anthony trade were always slim, but a Derrick Rose trade seemed to gain traction as the deadline approached. The Knicks were in talks with the Timberwolves on a deal centered around Rose for Ricky Rubio. According to reports the Knicks wanted more than just Rubio in a trade and asked for picks or young talent in addition to Rose.
The T'Wolves balked at that proposal and balked at a Rubio for Rose deal straight up in the last minutes before the deadline passed. There were rumblings of a Courtney Lee deal to the Clippers, but outside of that there was nothing really close to getting done other than the Rose for Rubio deal. It appeared like a deal was going to get done, but the Knicks asking price was too high and it cost them when they tried to lower their demands in the final minutes. If that's true the Knicks have nobody to blame but themselves for failing to get something for Rose and his expiring deal.
There is no chance Rose is going to return to the team next year so it made zero sense for the Phil Jackson to hold on to him for the final 25 games. This team's playoff chances are highly unlikely whether Rose is on the team or not. They took a chance on Rose to help this team return to the playoffs and it has failed miserably. Rose still has more than enough talent to play in this league, but his fit with the Knicks has been a bad one ever since he got to New York. Rose needed to go whether they got a quality return for him or not, but Phil Jackson once again did what he's done all year as team president. Nothing.
The Knicks followed up their quiet deadline with a blowout loss to the Cavs to open their final 25 games of the season. Following the game Carmelo Anthony was asked if he understood managements vision for the future after the team stayed quiet at the deadline.
"No, not now. No, to be honest with you," said Carmelo in his postgame comments to ESPN's Ian Begley. The same can be said for the entire Knick fan base.
With the trade deadline less than 48 hours away the rumor mill is heating up and the Knicks appear to be very active as Thursday approaches. Carmelo Anthony is the biggest trade chip the Knicks have to offer, but a deal is still unlikely due to Melo's no-trade clause despite all the drama over the past month. Brandon Jennings and Kyle O'Quinn are two other names who could draw some interest, but the most likely Knick to be dealt come 3 PM Thursday is Derrick Rose.
The Rose experiment in New York has sadly been a disaster. Things were going wellwhen the Knicks started the season 14-10. Rose was playing well putting up solid numbers and proving he still had plenty of explosiveness left in the tank. However, things took a turn in early January as the team began to struggle and Rose abandoned his team without explanation before their game on January 9th against the Pelicans. Things have only gotten worse for Rose and the team since then as the team has dropped out of playoff contention and now hold a 23-34 record.
Rose continues to put up decent offensive numbers and sneaks in a couple flashy layups every game, but Knicks fans are getting tired of watching the former MVP. Besides his play on the court he doesn't seem fully invested into being a Knick or playing with the passion Knick fans desire to see. It's the same old act for Rose and nothing he's doing is going to make this team any better by season's end. His defense has been awful, he doesn't shoot threes, and he's hurt the development of Kristaps Porzingis with his score first style of play from the point guard position. Rose has turned out to be a very flawed player in his time in New York which makes you wonder why would any team be interested in acquiring Rose for the rest of the season?
The main reason is his expiring contract. Expiring deals are very attractive in the NBA because of the cap space they can clear for free agency. Derrick Rose is in the last year of his deal where he will make $21 million. Combine that with Rose's ability to still score and finish at the rim and he could provide a nice offensive boost to a roster.
Despite his flaws there is one team that apparently has serious interest in trading for Rose before the deadline. Rose's former coach Tom Thibodeau and the Minnesota Timberwolves are the team to watch to trade for Rose in the next few days according to an ESPN report.
So what could the Knicks get from the T'Wolves for Rose? They main rumor in play is a player for player swap involving Rose and Ricky Rubio. Rubio has been on the block all season and seems to be on his way out by Thursday whether he lands with the Knicks or not. Rubio still has two years left on his contract at around $13 million annually, but he's a terrific passer who could be a nice match for Kristaps Porzingis. Rubio averages 9 points a game and is a below average shooter, but his 8.4 assists per game are something the Knicks could really use. He is also a solid perimeter defender which is an area Rose and the rest of the Knicks have struggled in all year.
If I'm the Knicks I lean toward doing this deal. Rubio's cap hit the next two years isn't ideal, but he is a terrific distributor which is something this offense could really use to go with Melo and KP. The Knicks were getting zero three point shooting from the point guard position to begin with so why not get a different point guard who's a great and willing passer who can also defend better than Rose. The Knicks aren't signing a franchise point guard this summer. If anything they could get lucky and strike gold with one in the draft if they fall into the lottery of one of the deepest drafts in years. Rubio isn't the answer, but he could be a nice piece moving forward until they do find that franchise point guard.
Rose is still a solid offensive player in the league, but his time has run out in New York. He's a bad fit for this team and he doesn't have a future with this team. There is zero chance the Knicks are resigning him this summer so they should do whatever they have to do to get rid of him if they have a chance to bring something valuable back in return.
The Knicks will have two participants in Friday night's Rising Stars Challenge Game. Kristaps Porzingis was originally named to the World Roster and today teammate Willy Hernangomez was announced as a replacement for the Nugget's Emmanuel Mudiay. Willy was definitely snubbed from the game to begin with so it was nice to see him get recognized for his terrific rookie season.
It will be a fun sight to see the future front court of the Knicks represented on a national stage in Friday night's game. Last season KP put on a show in the exhibition of the best rookies and sophomores scoring 30 points. KP will also be involved in the Skills Challenge at All-Star Saturday night competing as one of the four big men. Along with Carmelo Anthony he's a candidate to play in the big game Sunday night as a replacement for the injured Kevin Love. There might be more deserving candidates, but given that KP will already be in New Orleans he could get the nod. If not I'm sure we'll see KP in the game next year and for many years to come.
For Willy Friday night will be a showcase for him to show the rest of the NBA he's one of the top rookies and young bigs in the league. With the injuries and inconsistent play from Joakim Noah Willy has earned more playing time of late and has taken full advantage of it. In the month of February Willy is averaging 11.5 ppg and 9.3 rebounds in six games. The more he has played the better he has been as he has cemented a spot in the rotation every game with his performance. Despite what has been a brutal past six weeks for the team the growth of Willy has to give Knick fans high hopes for the future with Willy (22) and KP (21) playing at such a high level so young in their careers.
The Charles Oakley/James Dolan saga took a step at being resolved Monday after a meeting took place at NBA headquarters with the two and Commissioner Adam Silver. Coming off the heels of last Wednesday's incident Commissioner Silver felt the need to get involved after Dolan's announcement on Friday that Oakley was indefinitely banned from the Garden. With Oakley's close friend Michael Jordan joining the meeting through telephone it sounds like the situation took a step in the right direction. Dolan apparently apologized to Oakley for last week's events and seemingly put an end to the indefinite ban which lasted only three days.
This was a good job by Silver and the NBA to step in and try to resolve something. It's clear that this was a really bad look for the Knicks and the NBA as a whole and something that had to be addressed before All-Star weekend. Despite the "apology" from both sides don't expect Oakley at the Garden for a Knicks' game anytime soon. Oakley said in an interview after the meeting that he was still hurt by Dolan's words and it's going to take him some time before he accepts any invitation from Dolan to return to MSG.
“Some things don’t just walk away,” said Oakley. “A dog got a broken leg, he ain’t just going to walk away. He going to try to get himself together.”
What really upset Charles was Dolan implying that Oakley had a problem and that he needed help. His interview with Michael Kay and the Knicks' statement following his arrest made it seem like Oakley was a raging alcoholic or somebody who's mentally unstable. The apology from Dolan was the right move and a good start, but you can't blame Oakley for still being hurt by what went down last week.