Derrick Rose is now a Cavalier, but in the months leading up to free agency, there were several reports indicating that he hoped to return to the Knicks, and there was a belief that the franchise may have reciprocated that interest. However, after the Knicks drafted Frank Ntilikina and signed Tim Hardaway, Rose’s interest in returning to New York faded, and the team appeared prepared to go in another direction, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post.
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B.J. Armstrong – Rose’s agent – tells Berman that the Knicks and his client were on different short-term paths, with Rose wanting to contend immediately, while the Knicks could still be “three [or] four years” away.
“Did we miss something?,” Armstrong said of the Knicks. “Is there something going [on] in New York we didn’t see? We all would agree they are on a different timeline than Derrick — a young team with great young talent there and trying to build something for the future. They’re not on the same timeline as players who are a little older and experienced.”
The Knicks entered free agency intent on finding a veteran mentor for Ntilikina, who just turned 19 and may not be ready to take on major minutes right away. Rose was believed to be a candidate, but the club ultimately signed Ramon Sessions, and Armstrong suggests that his client was never interested in that sort of mentor role.
“You’re a mentor when you no longer can play,” Armstrong said. “This league you get paid to perform. You don’t get paid to be a mentor.”
While Rose seemingly had little interest in the Knicks before joining the Cavs, New York also wasn’t making the former MVP a high priority. Although the Knicks kept in contact with Rose until the end, the team never offered him even the veteran’s minimum, a source tells Berman.
According to the Post, the Knicks’ front office believes Sessions will be better suited to mentor Ntilikina. Knicks brass also thinks Sessions could develop better chemistry with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis than Rose ever did (assuming Anthony isn’t traded).