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‘A lot of pressure’ prompted highly praised Knicks trade for Derrick Rose

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The NBA intelligentsia is mostly positive about the Knicks’ addition of point guard Derrick Rose — particularly because he’s able to work again with coach Tom Thibodeau.

Though Rose, 32, has had multiple knee surgeries, somehow Thibodeau always gets the best out of him. He won the MVP at age 22 in Chicago under the current Knicks coach.

“He was very good in Minnesota [with Thibodeau], maybe not as good in Detroit,’’ one NBA personnel director said. “Thibodeau always gets Rose to play his best.’’

The Knicks won’t be asking Rose to play a major role — likely as a backup to Elfrid Payton and perhaps as a closer in many games.

According to a Pistons source, Rose preferred coming off the bench in Detroit. The Pistons source said an unofficial minutes restriction existed for Rose because of his past surgeries, including one that ended his season with the Knicks in 2016-17.

The Pistons believed Rose’s production usually tapered off after 23 minutes; he averaged 22.8 minutes this season in Detroit.

That’s probably the maximum the Knicks have in mind for Rose anyway. The Knicks all but announced with this trade they plan to be in the thick of a playoff race — youth be damned.

After 25 games, the Knicks, whose home-and-home continues with the Heat on Tuesday in Miami, are 11-14, entering Monday in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Derrick Rose is returning to the Knicks.
Derrick Rose is returning to the Knicks.
NBAE via Getty Images

“It makes sense in there’s a lot of pressure for the organization — they feel they need to win,’’ one NBA executive familiar with the Knicks’ thinking said. “It’s not OK to just play better than last season and progress. That’s not good enough. There’s internal pressure that they want to win, it doesn’t matter whose minutes [Rose] takes. They just want to win. He’s still got a tremendous ability to score.

“Thibs understands Rose,’’ the executive added. “Rose understands Thibs.”

An Eastern Conference personnel man loves the move.

“He’ll help,” he said. “He still gets to the hoop with ease and he’s a better shooter than he was five years ago. The big plus is Thibs trusts him in clutch situations, down the stretch. He’ll be a positive force in close games.”

There’s the thinking rookie backup point guard Immanuel Quickley will lose minutes to Rose. That might be the case on some evenings, though the playing time of struggling Austin Rivers appears more in danger.

Knicks brass may be more amenable to Thibodeau reducing Quickley’s role on some nights — despite his popularity — as long as their lottery pick, Obi Toppin, gets regular action off the bench.

“They have to find a way for Obi to play — they drafted him [eighth] and they will make sure to continue his trend of playing,’’ the executive said. “Quickley is a late first-round guy. It starts to say something if a lottery guy doesn’t play, so they’ll figure out a way to manage that.’’

Off the bench for Detroit, Rose was averaging 14.2 points and 4.2 assists in 15 games but has not played since Jan. 30 as the Pistons quietly looked to trade him.

“He’s still a good and productive player,’’ one Western Conference scout said. “His familiarity with Thibs makes sense to me for the Knicks. It adds another playmaker.’’

Rose likely will back up Payton in a crowded backcourt that also features combo guards Rivers and Quickley.

“The good thing about the Knicks is everyone in the backcourt is interchangeable,’’ an Eastern Conference scout said. “Derrick could play with Austin, can play with Immanuel, can play with Elfrid.’’

More trades could be on the way before March’s trade deadline. Sources indicate Payton has increased his trade value and drawn interest.

With Rose’s $7.7 million salary being exchanged for Dennis Smith Jr.’s $5.4 million, the Knicks have more than $15 million in cap space to make future trade mathematics smooth.

“The team was developing consistency and chemistry so this could backfire,’’ another talent evaluator said. “But they got [Rose] for basically nothing. And he could be a good trade asset and they need more scoring punch.’’

The Clippers, Bucks, Heat and Nets reportedly made offers for Rose. But as The Post reported, Rose wanted this second stint to be with the Knicks. It’s his third with Thibodeau.

“I think the move surprised a lot of teams,’’ another NBA scout said. “They expected him to be traded to a title contender. He definitely still has a lot to contribute. Obviously, the connection is the coach.’’

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