What’s Next for the Bulls, Knicks After Deal?


The New York Knicks acquired point guard Derrick Rose on Wednesday from the Chicago Bulls in a five-player deal that figures to set up the Knicks nicely as they try to make a splashy free agency addition this summer.

In the deal, the Knicks also obtained Justin Holiday and a future second-round pick in exchange for Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant.

“We will always be grateful to Derrick,” Bulls general manager Gar Forman said in a statement. “He was a great teammate who put winning first, and nobody fought harder through injuries and disappointment. He wowed us all when he was on the floor and at his best. His MVP season was one for the ages. We wish Derrick nothing but the best moving forward.”

“Knowing Derrick as I do makes this trade a hard one,” Bulls owner 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. I wish him the best of health for the remainder of his career, and I want to personally thank him for everything that he did on the court and in the community during his time with the Chicago Bulls.”

Adding a former Most Valuable Player in Rose will likely help the Knicks’ free agency pitch. They’re expected to pursue players like Dwight Howard, Al Horford and Pau Gasol among others with their cap space.

For the Bulls, the team can move on from Rose’s contract, while also adding some players to build around. Rose has struggled to stay on the court since winning the MVP award in 2011. He appeared in just 100 games for the Bulls in four seasons following his MVP campaign.

Last season, Rose rebounded a bit and appeared in 66 games, while averaging 16.4 points, 4.7 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. He’ll be in the final year of his contract next season, and he is set to earn $21,323,252. The move seems to be a low-risk, high-reward deal for the Knicks as Rose will be looking to prove himself in the final season of his contract.

As things currently stand for the Knicks, they have just five players guaranteed under contract for next season and could have as much as $35 million in cap space to work with.

The trade will enable the Bulls to reset their roster a bit and build around All-Star Jimmy Butler. Acquiring Lopez gives the team a replacement for center Joakim Noah, who is expected to weigh all of his options this offseason in free agency and seems unlikely to return.

The trade could also become a fresh start for Rose and Butler, as they’ve reportedly clashed over the past couple of seasons. This may have been overstated a bit and sources have told Basketball Insiders that the issue was more about the respective players’ camps, but it still removes any tension that may have existed.

Grant looks to be a great addition for the Bulls, as he wasn’t a significant contributor for the Knicks last season after averaging just 16.6 minutes per game and could flourish given an increased opportunity.

“As we said at the end of last season, we are committed to exploring every option to improve this team,” Forman said. “This trade is a significant step in that process. Our goal is to get younger and more athletic, and this trade moves us in that direction and allows us to start changing the structure of our team.”

Following the trade, the Bulls could have as much as $25 million in cap space that they can use to continue adding contributors to their roster. In addition to free agency, the Bulls also hold the 14th and 48th picks in tomorrow night’s draft.

With the draft yet to come, the Bulls could also continue to make additional trades as draft night is one of the most busiest nights of the offseason for moves.

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About Cody Taylor

Cody Taylor

Cody Taylor is an NBA writer in his fourth season with Basketball Insiders, covering the NBA and NCAA out of Orlando and Miami.