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In-depth look at Derrick Rose, what Knicks trade means for him

Updated on July 14, 2016

CHICAGO -- It’s been 8 days since Derrick Rose was traded to the New York Knicks. That’s how many seasons he spent in Chicago. Let’s take a look at his life, how he ended up playing for his hometown, and details of his career.



Once, known by his family as Pooh, Derrick Rose was a young boy growing up in a tough, drug-ridden neighborhood of South Chicago. Visions of getting out of the dangerous surroundings he was trapped in seemed inconceivable. But his incredible talent for basketball was the looking glass that foresaw him a bright future. Basketball was his knack, and his ticket to escape.

Throughout his high school days at Simeon, Rose established himself as a national superstar through his hard work and incredible abilities (although his family smartly kept him grounded and level-headed in an attempt to keep him humble and on a good path, whilst stopping publicity that would disturb future success). Collegiate recruiters had been interested in him since before he even entered high school, and there was no questioning why.

Explosive, aggressive, athletic. Agile. A playmaker, a scorer.

Derrick Rose practiced and mastered every skill needed to get into a Division 1 college he deserved, and someday the NBA, but meanwhile he stayed focused on being what he was: the true point guard and necessary asset for his high school to win championships. Fast forward to his junior and senior year, he did just that. His entire high school career consisted of an unfathomable 120 out of a possible 132 wins.

Rose flies in between and up away from opposing players, finishes using glass off-balance
Rose flies in between and up away from opposing players, finishes using glass off-balance

Early NBA Years

Fast forward again, and he has been the first guard since Allen Iverson in 1996 to be drafted as the 1st overall pick. His hometown Chicago Bulls had the honor, which was a miracle (and dream come true for the instant hometown hero), considering that Chicago had only a 1.7% chance of getting the first pick. This was in the 2008 draft, after having played a single year of college basketball for the University of Memphis. There, he brought the Tigers to the title game (but lost).

By this point of entering the NBA, he has many things under his belt: Illinois’ Mr. Basketball in 2007 and McDonald’s All American again that year. Not to mention his 2 high school championships and title game appearance in college, all of which he led his teams to. But the accolades didn’t stop upon his entering the pros.

The “rose that grew from concrete” was a Third-team All-American in 2008. He received Rookie of the Year in 2009, won the Skills Challenge, became a 3-time NBA All-Star, was on the 2011 All-NBA First Team, and also that year became the youngest MVP the NBA had ever seen since Wes Unseld at 23.

An extremely athletic slam on a fastbreak
An extremely athletic slam on a fastbreak
Rose splits the defense
Rose splits the defense

In his MVP season Derrick Rose averaged 25 points, 7.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.1 steals. His field goal percentage was 44.5. Rose made or assisted in at least 50% of his team’s field goals for 26 games.The Bulls won the league’s highest amount of games- 62 out of 82. He amazingly played in 81 of them. But since then, as we all know, his health has drastically changed.


Injuries- 4th Season Post game-pres

It all started in the 2011-2012 playoffs: Rose tore his ACL during a pro-hop attack dribble, which caused him to not only miss the entire 2013 season (technically missing a total of 99 games), but also causing his playing style permanent negative alteration.

Ten games into his return from injury, in the 2013-14 season, he tore his meniscus. He then missed 76 more games. In between all of this, and ever since the first major injury, he’s continued to miss many games for small impairments and also in order to rest and recover from soreness.

Some Chicagoans gave him a hard time for taking games off due to an aching body. Maybe they’re spoiled because their own Michael Jordan had once played with the flu. Maybe they are just hardcore winners. The irony there is that since they recognized how the team needed him, they wanted him to play; He didn’t, so they called him weak. He didn’t mind, he knew that he learned the hard way that he had to be careful with his body, taking the necessary precautions to feel safe whether his whole fan-base supported it or not.

Once known for his miraculous vertical in hugely entertaining dunks, and also for his explosive crossover, he is now most popular for his constant health problems. They got to the point where people would say laughingly, yet in all seriousness, “It’s about time Derrick gets injured again.” Sadly, the conclusion about all of this was obvious: hopes for another excitingly once-probable Chicago championship, a would-be first since the Jordan era, were shattered. Without a healthy Rose, the out-of-this-world one, the Bulls certainly could not be a championship team anytime soon.


In the most recent season, Rose played the most games he has since 2011: 66. Despite increasing since the season before last from 14.4 points to 16.4 (+2), 39 to 45 in field goal percentage (+6), and finishing around the rim 45 to 55 percent (+10), the Bulls officially put an end to the burden of his on and off physical condition and traded him to the New York Knicks on June 22, en route to “rebuilding the team through younger players”.

This trade acquired Grant, Lopez, and Calderon. These 3 really won’t make a huge impact, but they’ll have a new style for Chicago and at least are already experienced working together.

Anyways, what is significant for the Bulls is that, from the 2016 Draft-the day after the Rose trade was made official- promising Spartan shooting guard Denzel Valentine will be joining Madhouse on Madison. For nearly everyone in the Windy City, he’s a breath of fresh air. For those who aren't relieved, it's probably because they think that because since he's not quick-footed and fast like other guards are/"should" be, he won't be able to keep up. But he can do everything else, from driving, to controlling the ball, to floating it through the hoop, to splashing 3s and dropping dimes- he is an outstanding passer and has very impressive vision. This makes up for it, and I'm sure he'll condition himself each off-season to be up to NBA pace.

Anyways, the Bulls know that Rose will never quite be like his old self again (although that is holding him up to incredibly high standards), even though he is improving each year, and would surprise you with his true capabilities; What he brings due to his cautiousness with his playing style to avoid another injury is not his 100%. Despite that cautiousness, he impressively still drove to the hoop 8.9 times per game last season, proving he is still aggressively slashing like in the old days. The once-superstar-caliber MVP athlete was shockingly 81st out of 85 among the NBA’s point guards by ESPN’s plus or minus rating. Since his injury he’s averaged nearly 17 points, merely 41% in FG percentage, and 4.8 assists. Those are decent statistics, but disappointing in comparison to the past.

What the trade means for him

Now that he is a Knick, Rose will be working notably alongside Anthony and Porzingis. Other goods include Langston Galloway and Affalo, and the Knicks are also pursuing Joakim Noah and Kevin Durant for free agency (but Durant doesn't' seem as interested as he initially was to move away from the Thunder).

In Noah, the Knicks would have a masterly center with vision and passing skills a point guard would normally possess (and the Knicks are looking for a center). He is a former Defensive Man of the Year. Porzingis’ role clearly doesn’t match the same skillset as Noah’s, so despite what a few people are saying they definitely would not interfere with the other’s value or proficiency to the team if they were on the court at the same time (this was a problem a lot of the time between Jimmy Butler and Rose, as they were both guards with major scoring and playmaking skills).

Porzingis has a little more versatility, especially since he’s a better shooter and overall better offensive presence- but both are very talented and efficient defensively. Hopefully they would start Noah, because being benched in the beginning of games in Chicago was one of the only reasons he voiced for pursuing his free agency.

In Kevin Durant, the Knicks would have another power forward, and since both play a lot of minutes this could constitute to a tiny problem. Because of Durant’s experience, and higher level, he might get the starting spot, but on the other hand Porzingis contributed a lot to the Knicks this past season, and Durant would just recently be coming along.

Rose’s talent to drive, dribble, and also shoot (even though his far-range shooting isn’t quite as big of a threat), but specifically his vision, will mesh well with their talents since Anthony is a scoring small forward and Porzingis is a great rebounder who can score inside with some outside shooting skills as well. Don’t forget that he has only just finished his rookie season, and he’s already become a known name for basketball fans across the USA and Canada.

With that type of assurance, Rose should feel confident in his new team being a force to reckon with. Since there are already people on the team that influence the scoreboard, Rose's numbers will definitely shine in assists (I talked a little bit about his vision before). In greater detail, being alongside Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis will give him a fresh start, and he will definitely be able to improve them and everyone else around when he’s on the hardwood, just as he did in Chicago with #13 (and others), which is one reason why Noah wouldn’t be making a bad move if he chose to sign for New York. Besides that, him and Rose have a past friendship outside of playing, where as in Chicago, although both Butler and Rose deny it and have lots of respect for each other, him and Rose may have had frequent problems getting along.

As a Bulls fan, I don’t know whether or not I’m happy with the trade; I see how he’s improving and I've been rooting for him for a while. But the decision wasn't mine, so I can only say, Derrick, good luck in your future as a Knick, and thank you for all you have given back selflessly to the community through your public involvement and through the hope your talent brought.

Was Derrick Rose's health a burden on the Bulls worth abandoning?

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