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As Knicks trade neared, Dwane Casey told Derrick Rose that Pistons might offer equal playoff odds

Ryan Knaus breaks down the fantasy implications for Derrick Rose after reuniting with Tom Thibodeau in New York.

The Pistons and Derrick Rose mutually agreed for him to be traded. Detroit is in last place. Rose, 32, wanted to play on a team closer to the playoffs.

So, he made his way to the… Knicks.

SiriusXM NBA Radio:

Pistons coach Dwane Casey:

The last couple days before the trade went down, we had great conversations about – he was upfront and honest. “Coach, I’ve only got so many miles left in my legs. I want to make sure I go to a situation where I may have a chance to make the playoffs this year. I know where you guys are, rebuilding and retooling. And I just want to go where they have a chance to make the playoffs.” And I said, “Derrick, you may have a chance here just as much as they do in New York.”

But I understand his relationship with Thibs. Thibs started him out as a rookie. That’s special. You’re never going to change that. So, I’m happy for Derrick. I’m glad we were able to accommodate him and find him a place worthy to go and a place he wanted to go to.

The Pistons (6-19) are probably better than their record. Their scoring margin – generally a better predictor of future success than record – is that of a typical 9-16 team.

The Knicks (11-15) might be worse than their record. New York’s opponents are shooting a dreary 32% on 3-pointers. Though they can prevent attempts, teams have little control over opponent 3-point percentage. As that likely regresses to the mean, the Knicks’ defense will slip.


  • Just because the Pistons are probably better than their record and the Knicks might be worse than their record doesn’t mean the Pistons are better than the Knicks.
  • New York has already banked a 4.5-game lead on Detroit. Even if they outplay the Knicks the rest of the season, the Pistons will have a tough time making up that deficit.
  • Detroit built its record with Rose. New York had been playing without Rose. Presumably, Rose switching teams will make the Knicks better and Pistons worse going forward.

Plus, as Casey said, this wasn’t just about Rose joining a better team. Rose also reunited with Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached Rose with the Bulls.

But it was at least somewhat about team quality. That’s why Casey addressed the issue with Rose.

I think Casey was focused on expressing confidence in his team rather than denigrate another team. But in the process, he did take a shot at the Knicks.

Which is always fun.