Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

Knicks acquire ex-MVP Rose

NEW YORK — Derrick Rose was once writing a great NBA story, the hometown kid leading the Bulls to their greatest heights since Michael Jordan.

Then injuries set in, and Rose might never again play at that dazzling level.

The player he is now could still be an upgrade for the Knicks.

New York acquired Rose from the Bulls on Wednesday, hoping the former NBA MVP can be its answer at point guard.

New coach Jeff Hornacek said recently that the Knicks needed a point guard, and Rose was one of the NBA's best before multiple knee injuries slowed the former No. 1 pick's career. He played in 66 games last season, his most in five years, and averaged 16.4 points.

"This is an exciting day for New York and our fans," Hornacek said in a statement. "Derrick is one of the top point guards in the NBA who is playoff battle-tested. He adds a whole new dynamic to our roster and immediately elevates our backcourt."

New York sent center Robin Lopez and guards Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant to the Bulls in the deal. The Knicks also received guard Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick and waived point guard Tony Wroten.

Rose, 27, struggled just to get on the court over the past four years, and the Bulls dealt him on the eve of the draft with a year left on his contract.

"Derrick has meant a lot to this organization and to this city and to this team and has had to overcome a lot over the years with all the injuries to get back to the point he was," Bulls general manager Gar Forman said. "But in putting our plan together, we felt as a first step this really made sense for us."

Simmons awaits call

NEW YORK — Ben Simmons has the sneaker deal and the TV show, so off the court he already has the look of a star.

The only questions seem to be about what he can do on the floor.

Assuming the 76ers are satisfied, they will make Simmons the No. 1 pick tonight in the NBA draft (7, ESPN, 620-AM).

He has been considered the choice for months, and there are plenty of reasons why. The 6-foot-10 forward's versatility is a strong fit for the modern NBA, and he has been getting advice about how to make himself even better from his favorite player, LeBron James.

Yet after an up-and-down season at LSU, Simmons arrived in New York on Wednesday with more scrutiny than usual for a player whose named is expected to be called first by commissioner Adam Silver.

"It was a roller coaster, but I think everything that I went through has helped mold me into the player that I am now," Simmons said. "But I think I'm ready."

He averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists, the only SEC player ever to finish in the top five in all three categories. But the Tigers were only 19-14 and failed to make the NCAA Tournament.

Duke's Brandon Ingram is the other player mentioned for the top pick and also worked out for the 76ers. He's likely to go second to the Lakers. The Magic picks 11th, 41st and 47th.

THREE-TEAM DEAL: The Pacers traded one Indianapolis native for another, sending point guard George Hill to the Jazz and acquiring point guard Jeff Teague in a three-team swap that also included the Hawks. Atlanta received the No. 12 overall pick in tonight's draft from Utah.

STAYING PUT? Cavaliers forward and NBA Finals MVP LeBron James, who can opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent this summer, said he plans to stay in Cleveland. "I love it here in Cleveland. I have no intentions of leaving," James said during the Cavaliers' championship parade. "There are some technicalities to take care of I'll leave up to my agent. That's right from the horse's mouth."

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