Detroit Pistons: Will the Knicks regret the Derrick Rose trade?

Derrick Rose #25 of the Detroit Pistons moves the ball up court in front of Dennis Smith Jr. #4 of the New York Knicks. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Derrick Rose #25 of the Detroit Pistons moves the ball up court in front of Dennis Smith Jr. #4 of the New York Knicks. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

It’s too early to say if anyone “won” the Derrick Rose trade, as it has worked out for both teams so far but especially the Detroit Pistons.

When the Pistons traded the former MVP, they knew they weren’t going to get a huge return in terms of players or picks, so GM Troy Weaver decided to take a flyer on a former lottery pick in Dennis Smith Jr.

Smith Jr. was out of the Knicks’ rotation and on his way to the G-League so he was clearly not a part of their long-term plans.

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In was really a no-risk trade for both teams, as the Knicks got a guy they think can help them make the playoffs and the Detroit Pistons got a rehab project and 2nd-round pick in return.

But after some strong play from Dennis Smith Jr. and renewed hop in his step, the Knicks have to be wondering if the guy they needed was already on their bench.

Will they regret giving up Dennis Smith Jr. for a half season of Derrick Rose? Maybe. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Detroit Pistons: Is Dennis Smith Jr. better than Derrick Rose?

I don’t mean this as an insult to Rose, who has had a great career and is clearly the superior offensive player even at this late stage of his career.

But Dennis Smith Jr. has a chance to be a player himself and may already be getting there with the Detroit Pistons.

Since leaving Detroit, Rose is averaging 11 points, four assists, 2.9 rebounds and .9 steals for the New York Knicks as he continues to carve out a role on his new team.

Dennis Smith Jr. is getting 7.9 points, 3.2 assists. 1.9 rebounds and one steal per game since joining the Detroit Pistons and looks better with every game he plays.

It appears Smith Jr. is getting his hops back, as he put several Kings on a poster last night.

Smith Jr. has played very well in the last three games for Detroit, scoring in double-digits in each while playing tight defense.

He scored 17 against the Kings while adding six assists and is starting to make Troy Weaver look pretty smart for giving him a chance for a second career in Detroit.

It’s too early to say that he is as good or better than Derrick Rose at this point but when you factor in defense there is certainly an argument that he will be.

It’s possible that both teams “won” the trade, but if Dennis Smith Jr. ends up evolving into a low-cost contributor off Detroit or some other team’s bench, then the Knicks may end up regretting letting him go for a faint chance at a low seed in the playoffs.

Troy Weaver continues to show off a keen eye for talent and is hoping Smith Jr. will be the next rehab project to find renewed life in Detroit.

With two upcoming games vs. the Knicks, Smith Jr. will undoubtedly be ready to make his former team regret their decision.

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