The New York Knicks have made a lot of moves this offseason, but two big signings loom over the rest.
Both Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier will be major pieces to the machine that makes the team go this season, and while most fans assumed Walker would be the starter, there wasn’t confirmation up to this point.
Derrick Rose hasn’t been known as a starting point guard since leaving Chicago, but he has assumed more of a sixth man role at this point in his career, and he’s been one of the best at doing it.
Speaking at NBA media day, Rose confirmed everything that fans were thinking, and he said that Walker will be the starting point guard for the New York Knicks.
Even if the writing was on the wall, he does explain the reasoning behind it.
Rose Comes Off the Bench
According to The Athletic’s Fred Katz, Rose said Walker is a starter and he felt it was right for the job to go to him.
“He’s a starter,” Rose said. “You have to give him that stage…You have to give him the opportunity.”
While Rose is a former MVP award winner, it’s been nearly a decade since that and he’s a totally different player at this stage in his career. Instead of the high-flying dunker, he’s now the shifty veteran who’s still able to make it to the basket with ease, but with finesse now instead of power.
Something that makes Rose such a team player is he completely puts his ego aside for the sake of winning.
“I’m not worried about minutes or playing or anything like that,” he added.
With this, it looks like the speculation can come to an end and it does seem like the starting lineup is set.
Now, fans and players alike will have to hope the team remains injury free.
What’s Next From Here
Both Walker and Rose have been plagued with injuries over their careers, but unlike Walker, Rose has been able to avoid any major ones over the past several seasons.
However, Kemba was completely held out of back-to-back games last season as he recovered from nagging problems.
Rose could certainly step in as a starter in a pinch, but he’ll provide the greatest boost to the team if he comes off the bench and gives a spark to the second unit.
The Knicks have a lot of youngsters on the team, so having some veteran leadership off the bench to guide them can go a long way. With a bench backcourt likely featuring Rose and Immanuel Quickley, the pair can put up points with the best of them.
If all of the dominoes fall in place, the Knicks will certainly find themselves back in the playoffs, but it might not be as high of a seed as last year. The Eastern Conference has seen a lot of improvement over the past several years, and with the likes of the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat all fighting for the top spot, where does that leave the Knicks?