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Is Derrick Rose To The Lakers A Done Deal?

Is Derrick Rose To The Lakers A Done Deal?

The Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons had very legitimate conversations surrounding Derrick Rose in the lead-up to this past year’s trade deadline. Ultimately, a deal could not be worked out and both sides moved on.

This past week, Sean Deveney spoke to a general manager who said that he expected talks regarding Rose would restart this offseason between Detroit and LA.

“I think both sides were reluctant when they went into in January, February,” he said.

“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.

“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,” he continued.

“Now, everything has shifted a little. Now, they’re both in a position to where a deal is much more likely now.”

During last season’s conversations, the Lakers were only willing to go so far as to give up Alex Caruso and draft capital, whereas Detroit wanted Kyle Kuzma. That is where things started and ended.

Heading into next year, both franchises are in a different place.

Lakers backup Rajon Rondo just this week opted out of a deal that would have paid him $2.7 million next season to become an unrestricted free agent. The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers are expected to pursue him. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who holds an $8.5 million player option, is also opting out.

LA needs backcourt support – and Rose would fit the bill perfectly.

This past season, 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.

One year earlier, Rose 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.

It is easy to see why Rose would make an immediate impact for LA – regardless of whether he started or came off the bench.

The biggest difference between last year and this year is Kuzma’s status. Whereas the 25-year-old was viewed as an integral part of the future following the 2018-19 season, his production dropped dramatically after the addition of Anthony Davis. It is now apparent to everyone, including the Lakers’ front office, that he will probably never actually become the team’s third option.

With Kuzma’s free agency looming, the Lakers will need to make a hard decision regarding him sooner rather than later either way. There is a reason why the organization has received interest from the Pistons, Oklahoma City Thunder and Indiana Pacers for his services – they smell the blood in the water.

There is something particularly fitting about the idea of Rose capturing an NBA title in Dwight Howard fashion with the Lakers. It would be very Hollywood-esque, just in terms of how career stories go.

Will it happen? Perhaps. Should it? Absolutely.

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Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.

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