Derrick Rose has been a key part of the New York Knicks’ success in recent years, but he may get less minutes in 2022-23 to make room for young guards Immanuel Quickley and Deuce McBride.
The preseason is a time for trying new things and seeing what works. This year, New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau decided not to give Derrick Rose many minutes, but that doesn’t mean Rose will warm the bench this season. However, it could mean more time for New York’s young guards Immanuel Quickley and Deuce McBride.
As Jalen Brunson solidifies the starting point guard spot and Immanuel Quickley and Miles “Deuce” McBride are in consideration for more minutes, where does Derrick Rose fit? Will Tom Thibodeau lean on him like in years past?
For all ways he’s mismanaged spreading minutes between Obi Toppin and Julius Randle, Thibodeau has done the opposite with Rose, striking a good balance. As a result, Rose has remained an effective player since being traded to New York, with an improved three-point shot and better defense.
The 2020-21 season with Rose was crucial. As Elfrid Payton floundered as a starter, Rose and rookie IQ gave the team extra creation and scoring juice—enough to help the Knicks secure the fourth seed and win 43 games. The 2021-22 season showed just how much the Knicks relied on him, with Rose missing 47 games—he still averaged 24.5 minutes per game. The starting point guard spot was thrown into a tailspin with Kemba Walker and Alec Burks starting most games.
That’s why Rose could be viewed as one of New York’s top four most important players. His combination of shooting, driving, and passing, plus valuable, smart backcourt defense, make Rose a key catalyst in New York’s supercharged bench lineups.
As a result, the Quickley backup point guard push has been null and void. Instead, Thibodeau has often gone along with Rose-Quickley on the second unit.
But in the same breath, the New York Knicks must try different things in order to secure a playoff spot. One ideal option would be to give the younger players more minutes. Obi Toppin especially needs 5-10 more minutes in the rotation thanks to his recent play.
Quickley and McBride need more minutes as well. Last season, Quickley had a strong second half. At points, he looked like the point guard of the future Knicks fans have been clamoring for. McBride never got a large number of minutes to solidify his spot, but his point-of-attack defense and ability as a second ball-handler should intrigue Thibodeau enough to get him some.
In a world where Quickley gets a few more minutes, Rose would move into a hyper-managed role where he can handle some multi-point guard lineups and provide spacing and defense.
Derrick Rose is a talented player and has been a top asset in Thibodeau’s rotation since the Knicks acquired him two years ago from Detroit. However, as the Knicks continue to look for ways to increase their ceiling for the long-term, moving away from Rose, in small doses, to create more Quickley and McBride minutes is appealing. At the very least, Quickley should play more than Rose.
Though reacting to one game is almost always ill-advised, it seems Thibs may be thinking the same thing. Quickley was the first point player off the bench against Memphis in the season opener on Wednesday, a new wrinkle in Thibodeau’s rotation. Ultimately, the former Kentucky Wildcat played more minutes (17) than Rose (12). Neither player performed well, however, combining to go 2-of-14 from the floor.