On the eve of the NBA Draft, the Bulls and Knicks pulled off a blockbuster trade, with Chicago shipping former MVP Derrick Rose to New York along with Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick in exchange for Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant and Robin Lopez.
“Loved it,” NBA-TV’s Jared Greenberg said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Love it on all sides. The Knicks didn’t give up anything that is a solution toward them winning, and while I don’t believe Derrick Rose is of an MVP-caliber player anymore, it’s one year. What we need to stop doing as fans, especially now in the NBA, is we need to stop looking at players’ salaries and saying, ‘They’re not delivering on it’ – because that salary is not affecting you. Now, if you were to tell me that getting Derrick Rose in New York and his $21 million for next year would impede the Knicks on getting LeBron James or Kevin Durant, fine. Fair argument. But guess what? That’s not happening. So getting a guy who, at one point in his career was the best player in the NBA, (is a good thing).”
Rose, 27, was named MVP in 2011, when he averaged 25.0 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game. In the five years since, however, Rose, ravaged by injuries, has been limited to 166 games – an average of 33.2 games per season.
“I get it. He’s not even sniffing that (MVP) level anymore,” Greenberg said. “He’s not even sniffing an All-Star level right now. But you get him motivated, you get him out of a system that made him worse the last couple of years, you give him a fresh start, you give him Phil Jackson – who knows? At least he’s there and the opportunity is there. I think you have noting to lose. You’re not going to be worse off by having Derrick Rose run your offense than Jose Calderon.”
The Bulls, meanwhile, clearly intend to build around Jimmy Butler, who has been named an All-Star each of the last two seasons.
“I think it had to be one or the other,” Greenberg said of the Bulls trading Rose or Butler, “and I thought for a while that Butler would be the better option only because you can get more for him. But if you buy that Butler can become a bonafide perennial All-Star, then build around him. Make him your centerpiece and build through the draft. Make sure you get guys around him that can complement him and do what Fred Holberg wants to do.”
Butler, 26, is one of the best two-way players in the game. He’s averaged at least 20+ points, 5+ rebounds and 3+ assists each of the last two seasons and is a three-time NBA All-Defensive second team selection.
That’s pretty impressive.
“Listen, I don’t think Jimmy Butler is going to win an MVP,but I think he’s going to be of that type of ilk where guys are going to want to play with him,” Greenberg said. “Guys are going to want to enjoy being in that Fred Hoiberg system, getting up and down the court, and they’re going to realize that city is an amazing city to go play basketball in. I think that they will be better quicker than people think they can attain that level.”
The Bulls went 42-40 this past season, missing the playoffs by two games, while the Knicks went 32-50. New York has missed the playoffs in 11 of the last 15 years, including three straight.