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Trade candidate Derrick Rose says he’s cemented unique legacy despite no titles – Boston Herald


As a veteran on the outskirts of the rotation, Derrick Rose’s circumstances often equate to the trading block.

After all, there are title contenders that could use Rose’s experience and poise in important moments.

But one thing to keep in mind for Rose, who is reportedly being shopped by the Knicks and logged his first healthy DNP of the season Sunday: the 34-year-old former MVP isn’t obsessed with chasing his first NBA title.

Rose said Tuesday that he’s content with the legacy of fighting back from so many devastating injuries to earn a deal paying him $14.5 million this season.

“I just want to be happy playing basketball. Of course if I could get one [championship], that would be great. But I always felt like me being on the court in year 15, that is kind of like a championship for me,” Rose said Tuesday. “Creating a road that – like going into free agency [before re-signing with the Knicks in 2021], there wasn’t anybody I could look to, or compare myself to in the market. I was the first to do it – go from a max [contract], then go minimum, minimum, then get the contract I got now. I was the first to do that. So to be in that position, and just try to create roads for other people. I’m not going to be the last one who did what I did. I’m not going to be the last Derrick Rose. There’s somebody else that goes through trials and tribulations, too.”

Indeed, Rose has been tossed a lot of curveballs in his career. But the latest is something new.

As Tom Thibodeau continues to search for a formula out of the maddening inconsistency, the removals from the rotation of two players deemed important to the franchise before the season — Rose and Cam Reddish — appears to be the path forward.

At least in the short term.

Rose, 34, said he was advised of the change by Thibodeau before his DNP on Sunday, when second-year guard Miles ‘Deuce’ McBride served as the replacement in the rotation.

“He said he wanted to give Deuce a look,” Rose said. “That’s all he told me. So I understood.”

Thibodeau, who had previously indicated Rose’s DNP was for rest on a back-to-back, said Tuesday that the veteran’s status is “situational,” which has been a term the coach used for little-to-no playing time.

Still, Thibodeau added certain matchups could change his mind.

“It’s more situational. The nine-man rotation is, we’re pretty much going to go with that unless you know there’s foul trouble or an injury in the game,” Thibodeau said when asked if McBride is now in the rotation ahead of Rose. “There could be some situational stuff but we’re going to be in a nine-man rotation.”

The decision certainly worked well in Sunday’s victory over the Cavaliers, perhaps the best Knicks’ defensive performance of the season. McBride, whose strength is considered perimeter defense, logged 16 scoreless minutes and New York outscored Cleveland by eight points with him on the court.

Thibodeau previously cut Evan Fournier’s minutes to zero. So if Rose is out, the Knicks will have no players over 30 years old in the rotation.

“Just trying to be a professional about it,” Rose said. “Still talk to the young guys.Its not like I don’t like anybody on the team. I’m acting the same. I’m not phony or anything like that. Just try to do my conditioning. Keep my wind up. And try to find a rhythm whenever I go out and play.”

The Reddish situation is different and mostly an indictment on the front office. Acquired less than a year ago from the Hawks for a first-round pick, Reddish has mostly been on bench and is now firmly behind Quentin Grimes. Reddish started eight games this season and showed flashes of the blue-chip potential that made him the 10th pick in 2019, but he also lacked defensive intensity and was awful in his last appearance Saturday against the Mavericks.

The Knicks again declined to make Reddish available to the media after Tuesday’s practice.

“It’s not just on Cam, it’s on our team. What gives our team the best chance? And so I’d say those are coaching decisions; to decide to go from a 10-man rotation to nine because you feel like it [gives] the team the best chance to succeed. That’s why you do it. You always have to put the team first. So there’s a lot of sacrifices that need to be made by a team. But we’re always going to put what we feel is best for the team first.

Dealing for the Duke product was a clear miscalculation from team president Leon Rose. Without an extension signed before the season, Reddish will hit free agency in the summer. If traded, Reddish is unlikely to return the equivalent of the first-round pick that the Knicks gave up just 11 months ago.

Thibodeau wasn’t ready to call the Reddish trade a failure.

“We wanted to get a look at it. And there’s still time,” Thibodeau said. “That’s all part of the league. You always look at all the possibilities of how you think you can improve your team. And you can’t be afraid to take chances. There were some real good things that he’s done, so that’s the way we approach it.”



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