Knicks agree to acquire former NBA MVP Derrick Rose from Pistons

Derrick Rose controls the ball during a game.
Derrick Rose controls the ball during a game between the Detroit Pistons and Golden State Warriors on Jan. 30.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

Derrick Rose is reuniting with Tom Thibodeau after a trade that brings him back to New York.

The Knicks agreed to acquire the former NBA MVP from the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, a person with knowledge of the details said.

The Knicks will send Dennis Smith Jr. and a second-round pick to the Pistons, the person told the Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade was not yet official.


Once it is, it reunites Rose with Thibodeau, his coach in Chicago when the guard became the youngest MVP in NBA history at 22 in 2011.

Rose later spent one season in New York, averaging 18 points in 2016-17, before rejoining Thibodeau again in Minnesota. He is now in his second season in Detroit.

It took two overtimes for the Lakers to beat the Detroit Pistons on Saturday, when Dennis Schroder had 22 points in 40 minutes of stellar play.

Feb. 7, 2021

The deal was first reported by ESPN and the Athletic.

Rose was one of the NBA’s most explosive players early in his career, the superstar who led Thibodeau’s defensive-minded teams to the best record in the league. But a series of knee injuries followed and neither he nor the Bulls could duplicate that early success.

But Rose remains a productive player as a reserve, averaging about 18 points in each of the two previous seasons. He was scoring 14.2 per game in 15 games this season.

Most importantly, he’s familiar with Thibodeau, who could use some more scoring punch in his first season in New York.

“He’s one of those guys, he’s been around the system just like myself,” said Knicks forward Taj Gibson, who also played in Chicago and Minnesota. “We know kind of what Thibs basically wants.”


Elfrid Payton is the Knicks’ starting point guard and first-round pick Immanuel Quickley has played well off the bench.

Smith, a former top-10 pick, could never make an impact in New York after being acquired from Dallas as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade just over two years ago. He was not in Thibodeau’s rotation and was planning to play in the Knicks’ entry in the NBA G League just to get some games. Instead, he leaves after averaging just 8.7 points in 58 games.