By Austin Payne
The trade market appears to be heating up for this new and improved version of Derrick Rose, as the Pistons continue to backslide and lack direction in an already weak Eastern Conference.
Teams reportedly having looked into Rose’s availability are the Lakers, Sixers, and supposedly even the Clippers.
The Pistons currently sit at 3rd in their own division, and 3 games out of the 8 seed in the East. Blake Griffin is done for the season with a knee injury, and we still don’t even really understand why they traded for him to begin with. There have been rumors about Andre Drummond being on the block as well, with the Hawks reportedly having inquired about his availability earlier but backing off due to Detroit’s desire to garner a first round pick in return.
Your franchise player is in the trade news, the aging star you irrationally traded for is out, you owe Reggie Jackson too much money for what he is, and D Rose is hooping for you. It’s clear that it’s time to tank in Motor City, and there’s no reason to take Derrick down with the ship.
Rose leads the Pistons in points per game at 18 with 6 dimes to go along with it, all in only 25 minutes per game. That’s efficiency. Derrick Rose at 31 is now arguably better than he was at 28 or 29, when everyone thought his career may even be over after his tenures with the Knicks and Cavs.
It seems that Rose has reinvented himself in a sense, and while he may not maintain that explosive athleticism we saw in his early years with the Bulls, the quickness and craftiness of his game never left, and if anything he has honed it into a controlled skill set. His assist percentage is up, and he’s shooting 50% from the field. 5% higher than his career average of 45%.
I’ve been writing all season about how badly the Lakers need another guard who can get his own shot, one that isn’t named LeBron James. Rose would be an ideal fit for a team such as theirs, but the question really is what do they have to give? The Pistons would undoubtedly want Kuzma, who’s actually a Flint native, but would that be enough? A young combo forward who can score to add to your rebuilding roster seems like a pretty sweet deal considering the unlikelihood of you obtaining a first round pick for the 31 year old rental.
The Clippers are an unlikely suitor, and likely just kicking the tires on this one. The 76ers are armed with several future first round picks and even a few young assets on their roster, making them a very potent possibility in competition with the Lakers, and likely even more attractive to the Pistons.
Either of these teams would be a nice change of scenery for Rose, and potentially give him the opportunity to better utilize his talents in pursuit of a title, especially if landing in LA.