BY BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball writer
NEW YORK (AP) – Derrick Rose is reuniting with Tom Thibodeau after a deal that will bring him back to New York.
The Knicks agreed to acquire the former NBA MVP from the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, one person with knowledge of the details said.
The Knicks will send Dennis Smith Jr. and a selection to the Pistons for the second round, the person told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity as the deal was not yet official.
Once that happens, Rose reunites with Thibodeau, his trainer in Chicago, when the security guard became the youngest MVP in NBA history at age 22 in 2011.
Rose later spent a season in New York, averaging 18 points in 2016-17 before returning to Thibodeau in Minnesota. He’s now in his second season in Detroit.
The deal was first reported by ESPN and The Athletic.
Rose was one of the NBA’s most explosive players early in his career, the superstar who led Thibodeau’s defensive teams to the best record in the league. A string of knee injuries followed, however, and neither he nor the Bulls were able to repeat that early success.
But Rose remains a prolific player as a reserve, averaging 18 points over the previous two seasons. He scored 14.2 per game in 15 games that season.
Most importantly, he’s familiar with Thibodeau, who could score even more goals in his first season in New York.
“He’s one of those guys, he was in the system just like me,” said Knicks forward Taj Gibson, who also played in Chicago and Minnesota. “We know what Thibs basically wants.”
Elfrid Payton is the starting point of the Knicks and Immanuel Quickley played well off the bench in the first round.
Smith, a former top 10 player, failed to make an impact in New York after being acquired by Dallas a little over two years ago as part of a deal with Kristaps Porzingis. He wasn’t in Thibodeau’s rotation and planned to play in the Knicks entry in the NBA G League just to get a few games. Instead, he leaves after an average of just 8.7 points in 58 games.
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