The New York Knicks draft viewing party turned into a regular old press conference Thursday afternoon, as team president Phil Jackson and head coach Jeff Hornacek answered questions on Wednesday's blockbuster trade for Derrick Rose.
First, the Zen Master, on Rose:
Asked Phil if Hornacek's hiring had a big role in decision to get Rose. Phil says no; upgrading PG was already something they planned to do.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) June 23, 2016
Phil Jackson says the Knicks felt the need to have a "decisive, attack guard" in obtaining Derrick Rose. pic.twitter.com/9jIbYWX7XV— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 23, 2016
Phil says he'd like to potentially keep Rose long-term if it makes sense, but obviously has to see what happens this year, bc of his health.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) June 23, 2016
Phil, asked about sexual-assault lawsuit against Derrick Rose, says he's aware of the allegation. Leaves it at that.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) June 23, 2016
Phil also says roster will be built w Rose's health in mind, which suggests they'll look to pick up a very capable backup.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) June 23, 2016
The organization was apparently very, very intent on finding a point guard, True, Rose did look much better toward the end of the year, but it's nice to hear that the front office harbors no illusions about Rose's injury risk and plans to hunt for a capable backup.
Phil took us through the thought process on the players he traded away:
Phil said it was hard to give up the three players surrendered in the deal but "that's what you have to do."— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) June 23, 2016
Said he believes "Jerian [Grant] has a future" but that's the price he had to pay to get a guy like Rose. #NYK— Tony Williams (@TBone8) June 23, 2016
Phil, on whether list of FA bigs vs FA guards factored into why they felt OK letting Robin OK: "You're on the right track" w that suggestion— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) June 23, 2016
Phil on open center spot: "We definitely have to get back into the market to fill that position." Didn't divulge options. #NYK— Tony Williams (@TBone8) June 23, 2016
"The price you paid" does not necessarily equal "the price you had to pay." Also, that robust free agent crop of big men will be negotiating in a much different free agency environment than the one which originally landed Robin Lopez. There's no guarantee they will be able to get decent value. But whatever.
Next up was Jeff Hornacek, who was his usual, upbeat self:
Hornacek says NY will be sensitive to Rose's knee issues, won't hesitate to rest him if he isn't feeling fully pic.twitter.com/G4rqvp4ctx— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 23, 2016
Hornacek: "He may not be the Derrick Rose from 4 or 5 yrs ago, with all the speed. But he's still pretty darn quick."— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) June 23, 2016
When noted that Rose isn't a very good 3-point shooter, Hornacek said he's gonna have to shoot the 3. It'll help keep defenses honest. #NYK— Tony Williams (@TBone8) June 23, 2016
And he seems quite convinced Rose will benefit, not hinder, Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis:
Jeff Hornacek thinks Derrick Rose can help find easier shots for Kristaps Porzingis, particularly in pick & rolls. pic.twitter.com/zKT7Waoyki— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 23, 2016
Hornacek on a Rose-Melo mesh: "These guys understand they need each other." Added they'll realize when it's time to take over & other def...— Tony Williams (@TBone8) June 23, 2016
Sounds good to me.
Finally, we end some non-Rose news:
Phil Jackson says he anticipates re-signing free agents Lance Thomas and Langston Galloway.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 23, 2016
Phil said they're exploring getting into tonight's draft but there is "nothing imminent right now."— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) June 23, 2016
Great news on Galloway and Thomas, whom they pretty much have to re-sign at this point. Otherwise they'd have a hard time filling out a rotation.
Let's hope Phil is playing coy about tonight's draft. It's almost time to party.