The New York Knicks were expected to trade point guard Derrick Rose to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Ricky Rubio, but negotiations stalled significantly just moments before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET NBA trade deadline, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania.
The deal never materialized, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, because the Knicks pushed for an additional piece alongside Rubio in exchange for Rose. New York eventually softened its resolve to obtain a second asset in exchange for Rose, according to ESPN.com’s Ian Begley, but it was too late for a deal to come together.
At the finish line, league sources say, New York was prepared to trade Derrick Rose for Ricky Rubio straight up. But the Wolves balked.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 23, 2017
Minnesota is $12 million below the cap and could have eaten the $7.9 million salary difference between Rose and Rubio’s contracts.
The deal would have reunited Rose with ex-Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and paved the way to develop Kris Dunn as the Timberwolves’ point guard of the future. It also would have given the Knicks a pass-first point guard in Rubio to facilitate an offense carried by Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis.
A point guard swap could have benefited both the Knicks and Timberwolves, who have each struggled to string wins together this season.
Rose is averaging 17.7 points per game on 46 percent shooting from the field, but is far from the dynamic player who claimed 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player honors. He is shooting a putrid 24 percent from deep this season, but is still an aggressive pick-and-roll scorer, something the Timberwolves lost when Zach LaVine went down with a season-ending ACL injury.
He’s also dishing out 4.5 assists and four rebounds, but has regressed into one of the league’s worst defenders. He’s currently ranked fifth-worst among 89 point guards in defensive RPM.
While Rubio struggles mightily as a shooter, he’s a playmaker the Knicks haven’t had in years and could have helped with Porzingis’ development. He’s averaging eight assists to just two turnovers this season.
The Knicks nearly saved themselves the burden of point guard shopping in free agency. Instead, they may be forced to either re-sign Rose this summer or overpay to pry a floor general from another team.
Minnesota will likely attempt to deal Rubio in the offseason. He is owed a reasonable $29 million over the next two seasons.