By Jeff O'Brien

Derrick Rose is reuniting with Tom Thibodeau after a trade that brings him back to New York.

The Knicks agreed to acquire the former NBA MVP from the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, a person with knowledge of the details said.

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DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 28: Derrick Rose #25 of the Detroit Pistons while playing the Los Angeles Lakers at Little Caesars Arena on January 28, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Knicks will send Dennis Smith Jr. and a second-round pick to the Pistons, the person told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade was not yet official.

Once it is, it reunites Rose with Thibodeau, his coach in Chicago when the guard became the youngest MVP in NBA history at 22 in 2011.

Rose later spent one season in New York, averaging 18 points in 2016-17, before rejoining Thibodeau again in Minnesota. He is now in his second season in Detroit.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 19: Derrick Rose #25 of the Detroit Pistons passes the ball in front of Davis Bertans #42 of the Washington Wizards in the first half during a preseason game at Capital One Arena on December 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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-minded teams to the best record in the league. But a series of knee injuries followed and neither he nor the Bulls could duplicate that early success.

But Rose remains a productive player as a reserve, averaging about 18 points in each of the two previous seasons. He was scoring 14.2 per game in 15 games this season.

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Most important, he’s familiar with Thibodeau, who could use some more scoring punch in his first season in New York.

“He’s one of those guys, he’s been around the system just like myself,” said Knicks forward Taj Gibson, who also played in Chicago and Minnesota. “We know kind of what Thibs basically wants.”

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 19: Derrick Rose #25 of the Detroit Pistons warms up before the start of the Pistons game against the Washington Wizards during a preseason game at Capital One Arena on December 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Elfrid Payton is the Knicks’ starting point guard and first-round pick Immanuel Quickley has played well off the bench.

Smith, a former top-10 pick, could never make an impact in New York after being acquired from Dallas as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade just over two years ago. He was not in Thibodeau’s rotation and was planning to play for the Knicks’ G League affiliate just to get some games. Instead, he leaves after averaging just 8.7 points in 58 games.

The deal continues the Pistons’ total overhaul of last season’s roster, having already moved on from players such as Andre Drummond, Luke Kennard, Reggie Jackson and Christian Wood.

Rose gave the Pistons a lift at times last season, but wasn’t much use to a rebuilding team in this one. His scoring and minutes were down this season as Detroit looked to rookie Killian Hayes at point guard before he was hurt, with Delon Wright also playing solidly at the position.


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