Derrick Rose insisted he hasn’t talked to the Knicks about a buyout, although Kevin Durant’s new team is reportedly monitoring the guard’s availability.
The former NBA MVP has been identified as a “front-runner” to join the Suns if the remainder of his contract is bought out by the Knicks, according to Bleacher Report.
“No, I haven’t talked to anyone about it. I haven’t talked to anybody,” Rose said Saturday, before the Knicks beat the Pelicans 128-106, when asked if he had considered asking for a buyout. “I haven’t even thought about it. I’m locked in my thing right now. It’s kind of hard to think of something that I’ve never pursued and never talked to them about.”
The fans booed for Rose late in the blowout, and the 34-year-old checked in to a standing ovation with 2:21 to play, making his first appearance since December. 31
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, who previously coached Rose with the Bulls and Timberwolves, has often praised the three-time All-Star for adopting a mentoring role with the team’s young players after being cut from the rotation earlier. this season.
Rose, who is making $14.5 million this season with a club option for the 2023-24 season worth $15.6 million, said he had no dialogue with team president Leon Rose about the opportunity to play elsewhere before the Feb. 9 trade deadline or about a buyout after it passed.
“No. Have you heard anything? I’ve just been locked in, recuperating. [I] talk to Thibs about the team, talk to Leon about the team, but other than that, I haven’t talked to them about [a buyout]Rose said. “I think we’ve been so transparent in the past that if I thought about moving or being transferred somewhere, they would put me up there.”
“So I wasn’t worried at the trade deadline. Normally kids have a little bit of anxiety and all that kind of stuff. But that wasn’t something I was worried about.”
Rose said family reasons — for example, his son plays for the Gauchos AAU team in Manhattan — would make it difficult for him to leave New York.
“Right. He likes it here. I should probably talk it over with him, even before Thibs,” Rose joked.
All-Star forward Zion Williamson is out for the Pelicans with a strained right hamstring. He hasn’t played since Jan. 2 and missed the All-Star game last weekend.
Knicks non-rotational guard Evan Fournier was available after missing Friday’s game in Washington with a non-COVID-19 illness, but did not play. Trevor Keels, signed Thursday to a 10-day contract, was assigned to G-League Westchester.