An athlete in one particular team who does tremendously well might not necessarily boast of similar powers in a different team. This could be attributed to the way the team's strategy is made up, chemistry between the team members, not to mention the way the psychology of the situation. It seems that word has gotten out that the New York Knicks decided to put a stop to their pursuit of Jeremy Lin because of defensive concerns.
While it does not come as a surprise that the NY Knicks are in dire need of an upgrade for the point guard position during this summer which they did address, they traded Derrick Rose in the process. The NY Knicks narrowed their focus on Rose and did not bother to look up some of the other free agent point guards that are on the market, with former Knick Jeremy Lin being one of them. Lin is currently signed with the Nets.
Brian Lewis of the New York Post reported that they overlooked Lin because of defensive concerns. Lin rightfully shared his riposte on the situation, "If my life was done by what everyone else expected of me, I would've been done with playing a long time ago. I don't really care what anyone else has to say.'
It goes without saying that time does change people -- for better or for worse, and it would not be out of our place to say that Jeremy Lin is a better defender than Derrick Rose today. It might not be that half a decade ago, but statistics do not lie. The various figures which can be accessed such as defensive win shares or ESPN's real plus/minus show that Jeremy Lin is the superior among the two in that position.
While Rose was a good defender in his peak, he has declined since then. His athleticism that made him hot property is no longer there, and inconsistency dots his game. Without rim protection that backed him up in the previous season, Rose was exposed defensively at points.
To be fair, Lin built up a reputation as a poor defender in the past, but at least he did improve in that department to be a decent player in such a position. He is a big point guard, and he has managed to make use of his bulk to thwart the other smaller guards. Not only that, his physical size affords him a certain degree of versatility, being positioned as a two guard as and when the situation calls for it. This is not to say that Lin puts in a flawless shift every single game, as is is still beatable off the bounce, but his powers of recovery are there to consider.
Perhaps the NY Knicks know something else that we don't, such as Rose being a better fit in Jeff Hornacek's system compared to Lin. Apart from that, Rose's contract with the NY Knicks is already in the final year of his contract, and his fitness has not seen any serious knocks or setbacks, so the coming season could be a watershed one for Rose.