Derrick Rose 'Would Love' to Come Back to Knicks; 'Who Wouldn't Want to Play' in NY?

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIJune 3, 2021

New York Knicks' Derrick Rose celebrates late in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in New York. The Knicks won 101-92.(Elsa/Pool Photo via AP)
Elsa/Pool Photo via AP

Derrick Rose will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but he doesn't necessarily want to move on from the New York Knicks.

After the Knicks were eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, Rose told reporters that he would be open to a return to the franchise.

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Derrick Rose on his potential future with the Knicks:<br><br>"I would love to come back, who wouldn't want to play for the Knicks or be in New York?" pic.twitter.com/7d8wHTnWtB

Rose was in the second and final year of a $15 million deal he signed with the Detroit Pistons in 2019. He was traded to the Knicks in February and appeared in 35 games with the team this season. 

The 32-year-old averaged 14.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game with the Knicks, posting similar numbers to what he saw in the first part of the year, when he made 15 appearances for the Pistons. While he was a productive member of the Knicks' backcourt, he still posted career-low numbers (save for the 2017-18 season, when injuries limited him to 25 games). 

He broke out in his first postseason appearance since 2018, scoring no fewer than 17 points across the first four games of the series before he was limited to six points in the final game on Wednesday, as the Knicks fell 103-89. 

Rose acknowledged the rebirth he experienced upon joining the Knicks this season, his second stint with the franchise after starting 64 games for the team in 2016-17. 

“I'm very fortunate to be in this position," Rose told reporters last week. "Not only am I in the league, I'm on a great team." 

Head coach Tom Thibodeau also recognized the veteran's contributions, especially as the Knicks were working through their first postseason games since 2013. 

“Both he and Taj [Gibson] have been in a number of playoff games so I think they understand that we have some guys that haven't been in playoff games,” Thibodeau said. “There's only one way to get experience in that you got to get it.”

The Knicks will have some decisions to make this offseason, with starters Nerlens Noel and Reggie Bullock entering free agency. Even if Rose were to walk, his backup, Elfrid Payton, is also in a contract year.