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Derrick Rose hits free agency after Knicks decline option; Josh Hart extends deadline for player option

Derrick Rose’s tenure in New York — a two-stint rollercoaster that briefly resuscitated his career— is probably finished.

Prior to Saturday night’s deadline, the Knicks declined the point guard’s $15.5 million team option for next season, sending Rose into free agency. The move was expected since Rose had no spot in Tom Thibodeau’s rotation. Still, there was a chance the Knicks kept Rose on the books to use his expiring contract in a trade.

Rose, 34, was acquired via trade from the Pistons in 2021 and played an integral role in leading the Knicks to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs that season.

It earned him a lucrative contract that summer, but an ankle injury sabotaged Rose’s following season and he never recovered a consistent role. In his last two seasons, Rose appeared in a combined 53 games.

Despite the demotion, Rose was lauded as a team leader throughout the roster and praised by Thibodeau. There’s a chance Rose returns to the Knicks on a smaller contract, but finding minutes with Jalen Brunson and Immanuel Quickley in the rotation is unlikely.

Rose also played for the Knicks in the 2016-17 season after being traded from the Bulls. He’s the youngest MVP in NBA history.

With an extensive injury history, it’s possible Rose settles on retirement. There’s also the sentimental play — a reunion with the Bulls on a one-year deal — lingering in the rumor mill.

“I still got a lot left in the tank, so it’s about being patient,” Rose told Andscape toward the end of last season. “I killed my ego long ago. It’s not about the ego thing anymore. It’s about enjoying where I am at right now because there are a lot of older guys and younger guys that wish they were in my position.”

The other move Saturday was the Knicks and Josh Hart agreeing to extend the deadline on his player option decision to Thursday, according to ESPN. If Hart declines his $13 million player option, he’ll become a free agent. If he accepts it, Hart can negotiate an extension in August. Either way, he’s expected to remain with the Knicks. A league source pegged Hart’s next deal in the range of four years, $70-75 million.

“We’ll probably [decline the player option] and do the free agency thing,” Hart acknowledged after the season.

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Source: Berkshire mont

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