The New York Knicks, searching for a star to pair with Carmelo Anthony, acquired Derrick Rose from the Bulls on Wednesday, sending Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon to Chicago in exchange for the 2011 MVP.
Chris Herring has mixed feelings about the trade.
“I don’t think it’s a terrible idea to have him for one year,” the Wall Street Journal NBA writer said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “What I take issue with is this idea that you would give up a productive player and a player that you have under a very reasonable – maybe even good – contract in Robin Lopez for four years and $54 million. You’re only one year into that deal. I think you probably could have gotten more for him than that, and I probably would have sought a different sort of deal than to just kind of use him to get a player that the Bulls were looking to get rid of anyway and probably not thinking they’d get that much for because Derrick Rose is kind of damaged goods at this point. Between that and Jerian Grant, who, in a better system, a more free system, might be a better-looking player, I’m not sure I would have given all that up to get Derrick Rose. I know he’s a big name, but I just don’t know that it really made sense just to get a one-year guarantee for him.”
Lopez, 28, averaged 10.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game last season. He was an excellent low-post partner for Kristaps Porzingis, who averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks as a rookie.
“A lot of the stuff he was able to do last year was him playing alongside Robin Lopez, who was able to take the bulkier centers (on defense),” Herring said. “You look back to certain games last year, and there were games where Porzingis wasn’t thick enough as a player to take that responsibility. He’s trying to put on weight, trying to lift and get stronger so that he can better take that role this year, but I don’t know if that happens over a single summer. I also don’t know if it happens going from age 20 to 21. It’s probably something that better happens 24 to 25, 25 to 26 or 27. So that process probably takes awhile.”
The Knicks also have a lot of question marks on their roster.
“You mention them only having one big man,” Herring told Scott Ferrall. “They’ve only got one guard. Derrick Rose is the only guard they have under contract going into next year, so they kind of have a lot to do and a lot to take care of now going into free agency, a lot of holes to fill.”
Boston, meanwhile, is still searching for a star to pair with Isaiah Thomas, who led the Celtics to a 48-34 record last season.
“Danny Ainge really reminds me of the kid that has a lot of money in his pocket and just has to spend it on something,” Herring said. “He very badly wants a star or superstar to go along with what he thinks is a very good roster. He very much wants to put his stamp on this team – the same thing he did before when they had Paul Pierce and just needed (other stars) in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. He just kind of can’t find that guy to pair with the roster that he has. He’s been looking for this guy to build around for a couple years now because of the surplus of first-rounders they’ve got. But in a draft class where really only the first two spots are seen as being incredibly valuable, it’s not clear that they can really go any direction with this other than to just use the picks themselves.”