DERRICK Rose is putting winning first above all else as he becomes a free agent for the first time in his NBA career this coming offseason.
"Not even thinking money. I've got more than enough money saved. If I stopped playing basketball now, I'll be all right," the former NBA MVP told reporters in Utah on Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time).
"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."
This season, the three-time All-Star is averaging 17.8 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 32 minutes of action per game for the under-performing New York Knicks (27-35) which might not be Rose’s first option if he values winning.
So far, Rose has been relatively healthy in his first season with the Knicks, seeing in 62 of 72 games as of this writing. The 28-year old guard has not missed games due to his knees, which have previously cut his past seasons short when he was with the Chicago Bulls.
Several times this season, Rose has been vocal in not being a fan of the triangle offense, which Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek has been trying to implement.
Sources said New York has not ruled out not the possibility of re-signing Rose, one of several point guards the Knicks are eyeing for next season.
The Knicks actually offered Rose before the trade deadline with the Minnesota Timberwolves in a one-for-one trade.
Rose has said he enjoys New York and is open to return in a Knicks uniform but will prefer to test the market.
"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.”
"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."