Talking about Derrick Rose, a player not on the Chicago Bulls roster just doesn’t sound right.
Here’s how it went down.
|Chicago Bulls Receive
||New York Knicks Receive
2017 2nd round pick
New York Knicks C
A fresh start, in a low-pressure environment, could be the thing that Rose needs to revive his career.
New York is not that low-pressure environment.
With putting on a Knicks jersey, he puts on the pressure of Knicks fans expecting him to live up to his contract. If glimpses of MVP Rose don’t show up within the first few weeks of the season, fans will want blood. While Melo, Porzingis, and Rose will look good on a billboard outside of Madison Square Garden, there are big question marks on what kind of player will turn up for the Knicks, who have a history of bringing in highly paid, injury-prone players.
Want to know what’s not low pressure? Having an entire city, the size of New York, watching your every move.
Getting rid of Calderon’s contract is a win, what’s not a win is trading away a 23-year-old point guard, who you drafted only a year ago.
The Knicks had two seven-footers in their starting lineup last season, which goes against the philosophy of small ball. While it’s obvious that Porzingis is the younger, better player, they, in my opinion, could have received more for Lopez. Adding a ball dominant player takes touches away from Kristaps, which is never a good thing for your 20-year-old, face of the franchise.
If I’m the Knicks, I’m going small, using Melo like Indiana had originally planned to play Paul George. He’s big enough to match-up OK on the defensive end, while blowing his opponent up on the other side of the court. We’ve seen Kyle O’Quinn’s potential, and pending any future trades (which we all know are coming), there's now minutes for him as a make-shift starter when the Knicks play bigger teams. He also has a super friendly contract.
Focusing on signing a quality 3&D shooting guard (Courtney Lee) and a wing player who doesn't demand the ball and can play a few minutes at power forward (Jared Dudley) are moves that will complement the Rose signing.
Chicago Bulls B
Lopez can rebound, defend, is a decent passer and can hit free-throws (77%+ over his past four seasons). He’s the kind of big man you want in today’s NBA and is a good fit with Mirotic’s outside shooting. He also doesn’t demand the ball, nor does he complain about minutes. This move also saves salary, since it means Gasol and Noah are as good as gone, opening up their big man rotation to Bobby Portis, a very raw, high potential player.
While Lopez is a good defender, I hope for his sanity that he doesn’t share too many minutes with Calderon, McDermott, and Mirotic, which is a lineup that makes any offensive minded player jumping to get on the court.
Trading away a hometown, marketable hero for self-confessed nerd is hard; it’s the right move for Chicago. It’s a pity Benny the Bull retired. Lopez could have used his help to win over the local fans.
This is clearly step one of Chicago’s off-season, and it'll be interesting to see what they do next in addressing their needs for a point guard and small forward and once Gasol and Noah walk, they’ll have the cap space. I just hope for Bulls fans that it’s not at another injury prone player (Gordon or Beal).