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Can D-Rose promise Knicks a… ROSE GARDEN?
NEW YORK (AFP) – Chicago Bulls playmaker Derrick Rose, a former NBA Most Valuable Player nagged by knee injuries for years, was traded to the New York Knicks on Wednesday in a six-player deal.
The move came on the eve of the NBA Draft, when the Knicks will look for more help after missing the playoffs last season.
Rose, fellow guard Justin Holiday and a second-round 2017 NBA Draft pick were sent to New York by the Bulls in exchange for center Robin Lopez and guards Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon.
“Knowing Derrick as I do makes this trade a hard one,’’ Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said. “Everyone knows him as the local kid who became MVP for his hometown team, but not everyone got to know him like I did. While he is a terrific basketball player, he is an even better person with a tremendous heart.’’
Oft-injured Rose, 27, tore his left anterior cruciate knee ligament in the 2012 playoffs and tore the meniscus in his right knee early in the 2013-14 campaign.
Rose averaged 16.4 points and 4.7 assists for the Bulls last season.
“I wish him the best of health for the remainder of his career and I want to personally thank him for everything he did on the court and in the community during his time with the Chicago Bulls,’’ Reinsdorf said.
The Bulls were also linked to trade talk involving guard Jimmy Butler and the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves, but that is less likely with Rose being moved.
The Knicks add backcourt depth with Holiday, 27, who averaged 4.5 points and 1.7 rebounds a game last season after coming to Chicago in a deal with Atlanta.
Knicks president Phil Jackson says his club should make the playoffs next season with the combination of a healthy Rose alongside Carmelo Anthony and rising star Kristaps Porzingis.
The trio should help the Knicks in their triangle offensive scheme, one used famously by Jackson in his days with the Michael Jordan-led Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers.
New Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek takes over a team that finished 32-50 last season, a third consecutive losing campaign.
Calderon, who turns 35 in September, was New York’s starting point guard and averaged 7.6 points and a career-worst 4.1 assists per game last season.
Grant, 23, added 5.6 points and 2.3 assists a game in 2015-16 while Lopez, 28, averaged 10.3 points and 7.3 rebounds last season.
The Atlanta Hawks traded point guard Jeff Teague to the Indiana Pacers as part of a three-team deal that sends point guard George Hill from Indiana to the Utah Jazz, who will send the 12th pick in Thursday’s NBA draft to Atlanta.