Derrick Rose has been the subject of much trade speculation over the past year. The 32-year-old has quietly put together two very strong seasons as a backup guard for the Detroit Pistons, and multiple organizations have taken notice.
Heading into the last NBA Trade Deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers and Pistons engaged in very legitimate conversations regarding Rose’s services. Ultimately LA was unwilling to part with Kyle Kuzma and the Pistons wanted more than just Alex Caruso, so the talks fell apart.
However, at least one NBA executive believes discussions between the two organizations will be revisited this offseason.
“I think both sides were reluctant when they went into in January, February,” the exec told Sean Deveney recently.
“I don’t think the Lakers wanted to make a major move because they thought they could do something on the buyout market. And I don’t think the Pistons wanted to make a major move because Derrick was happy there,” he continued.
“You know, the Lakers wanted to be involved in case the Clippers got involved or someone else, the Bucks or the Nuggets, whoever. So there was interest but not too serious.
“Now, everything has shifted a little. Now, they’re both in a position to where a deal is much more likely now.”
While Rose himself has yet to comment on the trade speculation, his wife Alaina took a different approach. In response to the chatter that has him landing in Los Angeles sooner rather than later, she offered this response:
View this post on Instagram
Obviously everyone will take what they will from that post, but at the very least it’s clear that the Rose family has heard the rumblings.
Last year, Rose averaged 18.1 points and 5.6 assists off the bench for the Pistons on 49 percent shooting from the field, 30.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc, and 87 percent shooting from the free throw line.
In 2018-19, he averaged 18.0 points and 4.3 assists off the bench for Detroit on 48.2 percent shooting from the field, 37 percent shooting from beyond the arc, and 85.6 percent shooting from the free throw line.
The Lakers are currently experiencing a litany of opt outs after their championship-winning season. Rajon Rondo opted out of a deal that would have paid him $2.7 million next season just last week. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who has an $8.5 million player option, will also test the market.
This conversation took a weird turn. https://t.co/tiGtaKnSvy
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 20, 2020
That means LA will need additional backcourt support, and Rose seems like an ideal candidate.
It goes without saying that Rose will not simply be given away by the Pistons’ front office. The Lakers will need to offer something real in return. More likely than not, Detroit will want Kuzma again. The difference between now and last year is that the 25-year-old is no longer viewed as untouchable.
Kuzma’s numbers dropped dramatically following the addition of Anthony Davis. The former Utah standout went from averaging 18.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists on 45.6 percent shooting from the field and 30.3 percent from beyond the arc, to 12.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists on 43.6 percent shooting from the field and 31.6 percent from beyond the arc.
It went viral immediately. https://t.co/8yUQ5530ID
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 19, 2020
During the Lakers’ playoff run, things went from bad to worse. Kuzma averaged 10 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game on 43.0 percent shooting from the field and 31.3 percent from beyond the arc.
All of which is to say – Kuzma is far more expendable now than he was this time last year. In a sense, everyone understands that. Which is probably why the Pistons, Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City are circling in the water, eying him.
A lot can happen between now and the start of next season. The Lakers could make a serious play for Rose’s services, or they could go in a different direction. But generally speaking, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. If everyone is talking about this deal, including Rose’s own wife, there is probably a good reason for it.