2016 FA Roundtable: Derrick Rose

KURYLO: Sometimes when I show a cool chess move (oxymoron, I know) to my kids I’m thinking “an interesting an idea — white is obviously trying to counterattack on the queenside and open up space for their bishop pair, hoping that they can use their pawn majority to their advantage, but they’re ignoring the threat on the kingside.” Meanwhile my kids simplify the matter to “oh he moved a pawn.”

There’s so much to consider with the trade for Rose. Could the Knicks have gotten more for Lopez? Maybe they could have gotten some youth (future picks) for the defensive minded center? Was this just a salary dump to get out of RoLo’s contract earlier? Do the Knicks understand that Rose has been extremely inefficient? Do they see how his numbers have declined? How will he work with Carmelo Anthony? With the triangle? They’re not going to resign him for mega bucks, right?

Yet the reaction from the mainstream media (appealed to Bernie Bros: check) is “Derrick is one of the top point guards in the NBA who is playoff-battle-tested. He adds a whole new dynamic to our roster and immediately elevates our backcourt.” (Actually that description comes from the team’s new skipper!) There is a thought that the Knicks are getting an MVP-caliber player who just can’t stay healthy. And some of the chorus tend to agree.

That is an oversimplification of the matter. And in fact it’s straight up inaccurate. Here’s all I need to show that the MVP version of Derrick Rose won’t be showing up at MSG.

Season G PER TS% WS/48
2008-09 81 16 51.60% 0.08
2009-10 78 18.6 53.20% 0.1
2010-11 81 23.5 55.00% 0.21
2011-12 39 23 53.20% 0.21
2013-14 10 9.7 44.60% -0.04
2014-15 51 15.9 49.30% 0.04
2015-16 66 13.5 47.90% 0.01

‘Nuff said.

PLUGH: The Derrick Rose move has two interesting sides. On the one hand, you look at what he represents as a piece of the on court puzzle. He gives the Knicks, stylistically, a lot of what we never have. Great, athletic dives to the rim are as rare as diamonds in New York. It’s impossible to know how efficient and effective he’ll be doing any of that for the Knicks, or whether there’s a great passing game waiting to be (re)discovered. At worst, he’s a rental that gives the Knicks a shot at a faster brand of play.

Rose may be more valuable off the court, however. Fans and media assess players with a variety of metrics, eyeball tests, and so on. Players, on the other hand, have a sense of fraternity about the whole thing. They know who’s “a baller” and who they want in their foxhole. That matters A LOT in player circles, and that impacts the sort of network a team has tapped for free agent signings and so on. It clearly mattered with Noah and Lee and Jennings to varying degrees. If the Knicks want to flip the reputation of being a great stage with few star actors, the Rose move may pay dividends of a different kind. We’ll see.

KURYLO: I’m skeptical of this effect. Don’t NBA players know which ones suck? Wait I just thought of all the player-turned horrible GMs, and I think I just answered my own question.

PLUGH: I used to be skeptical of the effect, but I don’t think you can account for the disconnect between the way players talk about other players and the way fans and media see those same players. Michael Jordan once called Nick Anderson his heir apparent right after Anderson stripped him of the ball in the 1995 playoffs. I think players today are better than at any time in the past, but you listen to the way Charles Barkley talks and it makes you think. I just read that Stephon Marbury thinks Derrick Rose is going to be amazing next year. Maybe he will, but the only reason a player would think that is reputation and the “foxhole” thing, I think.

KURYLO: And a healthy disassociation from advanced stats.

FISHER-COHEN: Did we trade for Derrick Rose or did we agree to take on Derrick Rose so that we could have his friend, Joakim Noah? Let’s dispel some of the main rationalizations for this trade:

    He will help recruit free agents: Next summer, he’ll be gone if we want significant cap room. I don’t think “we used to have Derrick Rose on our team!” is gonna be an effective way of luring free agents.
    We have more cap space in 2017: Say you’re out of room in your garage and you’ve just inherited a 2015 BMW. Do you A) light your Toyota Prius on fire or B) sell your Toyota Prius? If cap space was the rationale, then Phil chose (A), burning assets to create room rather than selling them for value.
    So much red…

    He can collapse the defense: The best explanation for the inordinate volume of shots he takes at the rim is that teams know he can’t finish anymore and don’t bother sending help. Last year, he finished in the restricted area at a rate about 10% below the league’s average, and that doesn’t factor in his low free throw rate.

    But he was good after the All-Star Break: Post ASB, Rose’s shooting efficiency went up from embarrassing (46% TS) to just bad (52% TS) while defensively he got worse, going from allowing players to shoot 1.5% worse than average to allowing them to shoot 5.6% above average. His net rating also got significantly worse.

So yeah, the only way you can even halfway rationalize this choice is that Phil wanted Noah and saw Rose as a way to recruit him.

CRONIN: I mean, it is definitely fair to say that Joakim Noah came here almost specifically because of his buddy Derrick Rose being here. So that’s something. But really, signing Rose was a bad idea because it was a sign that the Knicks are going to try to “win now” with a team that will likely not “win now,” so there is no really point in trying to, well, you know, win now. They’ll likely be just good enough to make it so that their first round pick isn’t that great.

However, the team likely has improved overall, so there’s at least a decent chance that the Knicks will be in the playoff hunt. And if you’re going to make a bad basketball decision, hey, at least we maybe get to watch some playoff basketball! I like playoff basketball! So I’ll just grin and bear it and just hope that Rose somehow turns back the clock to when he had knees.

UDWARY: When the trade was made, I was slightly swayed into grudged acceptance due to us having all the cap space in the world next year. It was a move that punted our team building to the next year, when there was actually a worthy free agent class and not as much money to go around. Then we signed Noah and Courtney Lee to long term contracts and all that extra cap space vanished. Now we have an old, injury prone center who might be good for a year or two, a PG with no knees who will most certainly be awful and a mediocre guard who is on the wrong side of 30, instead of a PG on a rookie contract who may end up OK, an expiring veteran contract and a starting quality center on a very good value contact. This trade undoubtedly set us back long term, and may have even made us worse short term. It was a complete failure in my opinion.

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