The New York Knicks are reportedly considering keeping veteran guard Derrick Rose beyond the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline to use his contract in an offseason trade.
According to Fred Katz of The Athletic, if the Knicks don't deal Rose prior to the trade deadline, they could monitor the availability of big-money stars on the trade market leading up to the 2023 NBA draft and use Rose's contract as salary filler.
If the Knicks exercise their team option on Rose for the 2023-24 season, they could package his $15.6 million contract with Evan Fournier's $18.9 million contract, plus draft picks and other assets in a potential trade for a star player.
Rose's role this season is the smallest it has been throughout his entire career, which is why trade rumors have been surrounding him.
NBA insider Marc Stein recently reported that the Knicks are "open" to trading Rose before the Feb. 9 deadline and want to "do right by" him by finding him a more favorable situation.
In 26 games this season, the 34-year-old Rose is averaging a career-low 5.8 points in 12.9 minutes per game, as well as just 1.8 assists and 1.5 rebounds.
It is a far cry from the numbers Rose put up earlier in his NBA career with the Chicago Bulls, when he was a three-time All-Star and the 2010-11 NBA MVP.
Injuries began to derail Rose's career in 2012, as he missed the entire 2012-13 season and all but 10 games in 2013-14 due to knee injuries. Rose had some quality years after that, but he never came particularly close to returning to All-Star form.
The Knicks acquired Rose from the Detroit Pistons in 2020-21, and he played great during the second half of the season, averaging 14.9 points and 4.2 assists in 35 games for a Knicks team that reached the playoffs.
Although injuries limited him to 26 games last season, he had a substantial role when healthy. He averaged 12.0 points and 4.0 assists in 24.5 minutes per game.
This season, Rose has largely been outside or on the fringes of the backcourt rotation, which is led by Jalen Brunson, Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes. Even the unheralded Miles McBride has played more consistently, averaging 13.3 minutes per game in 37 contests.
The Knicks missed the playoffs last season, but the arrival of Brunson and re-emergence of Julius Randle have New York in seventh place in the Eastern Conference at 26-23.
Shipping out Rose at the deadline could help the Knicks bring in some reinforcements for the remainder of the season. But if there is no palatable deal available, holding onto him into the offseason makes sense.
Both Rose and Fournier will have expiring contracts if the Knicks' exercise their team option on Rose, meaning New York would be better equipped to take on a huge contract than most other teams in the NBA.