Derrick Rose says he’ll prioritize winning over money in free agency this summer.
“Not even thinking money. I’ve got more than enough money saved. If I stopped playing basketball now, I’ll be all right,” Rose told reporters in Utah on Wednesday night. “I want to win. I want to be happy and feel at peace with myself wherever I’m at. But being at the negotiating table, you never know. I’m not going to negotiate with people where money is the No. 1 thing I’m asking for. I want to win.”
Rose will test free agency this summer for the first time in his career. He has remained relatively healthy in his first season with the New York Knicks, playing in 62 of the Knicks’ 71 games entering Thursday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Rose hasn’t missed any time because of knee issues, which have plagued him in the past.
The 28-year-old former MVP is averaging 17.8 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 32 minutes per game for New York (27-34), which has performed woefully below expectations this season.
So if winning is his top priority, Rose might look to sign elsewhere. \
The Knicks, meanwhile, haven’t ruled out potentially re-signing Rose, a league source familiar with the matter told ESPN. He is among several point guards the club plans to target in free agency; the Knicks also could select one with their lottery pick in June’s draft.
Rose has talked about being uncomfortable in the Knicks’ triangle offense several times over the course of the season. The club is committed to running the triangle going forward, and coach Jeff Hornacek has said personnel decisions will be made with the offense in mind.
Rose, whom the Knicks dangled in trade talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves before the deadline, has said he enjoys New York, and he and his agent, B.J. Armstrong, say he is open to a return, but the Knicks’ offensive system likely will factor in.
Asked on Wednesday whether he can fit in the triangle, Rose said, “I’d be fine.” He added: “I’m just confident in any offense.”
Rose will take an open approach to free agency.
“It’s a part of free agency to see about the other teams out there, whoever is out there, whoever is interested. At least give them a chance and go from there.
“This will be the first time I’ll be a free agent. I don’t know how that process goes,” he added. “After the season, me, my agent, my brothers, family will have to talk about it. Of course I want to be here, just being in this environment, being in New York, being at the Garden every other night — it’s a blessing. But, again, I have to really talk it over with my agent and my brothers.”