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Rose Makes Knicks Playoff Contenders

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NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – The Portland Trailblazers called their home court the Rose Garden, before renaming the arena to the Moda Center back in 2013. However Phil Jackson’s recent trade, brings a new era of the “Rose Garden” with the arrival of Derrick Rose in New York City.

Last Wednesday, the Knicks acquired Rose, guard Justin Holiday and a second round draft pick in 2017 from the Chicago Bulls. In exchange, the Bulls received Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant, and Robin Lopez. At first glance, it seems like the Knicks gave up way too much. Especially, for someone that has been injury prone for several years now. Social media jumped on the opportunity to clown the Knicks recent transaction.

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New York will be happy to ship off Calderon, but Grant was a solid rookie that really started to show his potential towards the end of last season. Lopez was arguably the Knicks most consistent player last season. Lopez averaged 10.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG and started all 82 games at center for the Knicks. His defensive presence accounted for 1.6 BLKPG, and he was a great locker room guy which you can’t put a dollar value on.

However doing what’s necessary to see what the former MVP still has in the tank, is something New York needed to do. Rose played the most games (66 games) last season since his 2011 MVP campaign. This is promising for Knicks fans considering he looked very explosive still, and showed he can still score the rock (16.4 PPG last season). This is an instant upgrade at the point guard position, as Rose will give more production than Calderon (7.6 PPG) granted he stays healthy.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Rose has shown he likes to play well in the Garden.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Rose has shown he likes to play well in the Garden.

Health is the major issue here not only for this season, but thinking about the Knicks future in years to come. Rose is on the final year of his contract, and stands to make $21.3 million next season. If Rose plays well next season and doesn’t get injured, New York has a major decision ahead of them. Will the Knicks resign Rose for a big contract and decide that he is the answer moving forward towards winning a championship? Knick fans would be devastated if Rose were to have another major injury after being resigned, and championship talk would be further on hold.

The fact is, no one knows what is going to happen until the 2016-17 NBA season begins. As of right now, Rose is saying all the right things since becoming a Knick. Rose has voiced that there is no other option than bringing New York back to the playoffs.

This also speaks volumes to what Rose actually brings intangibly to New York. Rose brings instant accountability with his work ethic and can step up in that leader role that Carmelo Anthony has yet to fully develop into. The signing of Rose also brings more promising free agent attraction. Talks have already surfaced about Joakim Noah being the Knicks primary free agent target, which almost seems like a done deal with Rose in blue and orange. Kevin Durant has even taken notice to the signing of Rose by New York.

Jackson will have his work cut out for him filling out the rest of the Knick roster behind Anthony, Rose and Kristaps Porzingis. What the Knicks do in the free agency market will ultimately determine whether this team will be championship ready or just playoff bound. However, New York now having a “Big Three” won’t make it too difficult to persuade quality free agents. Viewing it from just a “Big Three” standpoint of Anthony, Rose and Porzingis in the Eastern Conference, Rose makes the Knicks playoff contenders easily (IF he can stay healthy….).

Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732

(Featured Photo Credit: Paul J. Bereswill)

 

 

 

 

 

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