Click here for link to Chicago Bulls Trade Grades
Knicks get: PG Derrick Rose, SG/SF Justin Holiday, 2017 second-rounder
Bulls get: C Robin Lopez, PG Jerian Grant, PG Jose Calderon
From a certain point of view, you might be shaking your head on this one. 'Another expensive, over-hyped, injury-prone, has-been? Andrea Bargnani says hi!' Yet you might want to look a little deeper. Of course, Rose has infamously missed 228 games over the past five seasons, yet he has made progress towards climbing to his 2011 MVP-self again. This season, he stayed relatively healthy, playing 66 out of 82 games, while averaging a modest 16.4 points, 4.7 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game on 42.7% shooting. Far off from MVP standards of course, but we nonetheless certainly saw flashes of Rose's pre-injury self this season. When the rust leaves and the health stays, we're looking at legitimate superstar potential.
And Rose's fit with superstar SF/PF Carmelo Anthony and budding star PF/C Kristaps Porzingis is perfect. Rose's all-around scoring skills will help him fit seamlessly into Phil Jackson's triangle offense, as he now serves as the quality point guard that the triangle -- and New York -- so desperately needed. Rose, 'Melo, and 'Staps sure provide a high-octane offense, but it should be noted that defense nonetheless remains an issue on this team.
An issue, furthermore, only magnified by the loss of C Robin Lopez. Lopez is probably the best player that the Knicks gave up in this deal, averaging 10.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks on 53.9% last season in New York. He served as one of the few, if not the only, quality defenders on the team; and with him gone, Kyle O'Quinn and Louis Amundson are the top candidates to replace him as the starting center. Rim protection should be at the top of Phil Jackson's priority list this summer.
At the point guard spot, the Knicks lost underwhelming rookie Jerian Grant, and soon-to-be 35 year old Jose Calderon. Granted, Calderon is a solid backup, averaging 7.6 points and 4.1 assists per game last season while hitting 41% of his threes, but the $7.7 million of cap space he was taking up can surely be put to better use. Grant still has upside, yet is still a raw prospect overall with only 5.6 points per game last season. Given that he's already 23 years old, the Knicks did well to sell him off as an asset.
Some extra wing depth in Justin Holiday and a second-rounder next year doesn't hurt either. All in all, dare I say, but the Knicks could actually be looking like contenders pretty soon if they round out their roster properly around their new Big Three. Can't believe I just said that.