The Lakers, Clippers, and the 76ers are interested in trading for Derrick Rose. If I hadn’t checked the date on my phone, I would be inclined to believe I time traveled back to 2011. Just a couple years ago I thought the former MVP was ready to announce his retirement. On February 22nd, 2018 he was found at Cleveland State University practicing in an empty gym after he was thrown into the Rodney Hood trade and released by the Utah Jazz shortly after. It appeared to be a sad end for one of the league’s most exciting players the NBA had ever seen. His stats in Cleveland included 9.8 points, 1.6 assists, and 1.8 rebound which were all career lows. Being that Derrick Rose is able to sell tickets due to his name alone, the Timberwolves, who were 27th in league attendance at the time, signed the then 29 year old in the hopes of reinvigorating its fanbase. To everyone’s surprise, and I’m sure the T-Wolves themselves, Derrick Rose was actually good. He was scoring 18 points per game on the second best field goal percentage of his career. The Timberwolves actually had to decide whether they wanted to pursue him in free agency. While he was not going to be pursued for a max contract like he imagined after his one year stint with the New York Knicks, he was certainly going to garnish attention from a few teams. He ended up signing with the Detroit Pistons on a respectable 2 year, $15 million dollar deal. The 31 year old is now scoring 18.5 points a game, marking the highest average of his career since his MVP season in 2011. A horrible Pistons squad that is looking to clean house of any talent has no real use for Derrick Rose anymore and will undoubtedly trade him to a contender. Here is one trade scenario that I could see for every one of the teams rumored to be pursuing him:
Could the Lakers actually trade Kyle Kuzma for Derrick Rose?
This trade is the most farfetched of any of the contenders interested in Derrick Rose. They simply don’t have any trade assets outside of Kyle Kuzma that the Pistons would be interested in. It’s actually a sad situation. Is Derrick Rose really the best case scenario when offloading the 24 year old with fringe All-Star potential? The only other scenario I could see happening would be a three team trade. At that point I still don’t see how Derrick Rose being on the Lakers fixes anything. This is more of a 2k pipe dream rather than a realistic outcome.
The Pistons get the average young piece they are pursuing.
The Pistons would get the most average young piece they could ever ask for in Thybulle. The 22 year old boasts per 36 minutes stats of 1.6 blocks, 2.7 steals, and a 37.6% shooting percentage from 3 point range. He is everything a statistician who works for the current 17-28 Pistons could ever want in a trade involving Derrick Rose. That could start a young core of Thybulle, Kennard, and Thon Maker? That is honestly really dark. That picture could be much different after offloading Reggie Jackson, Andre Drummond, and Blake Griffin within the next two years. For now, that is all they have.
The most likely case.
Montrezl Harrell is due for a big pay day. One that the Clippers quite frankly aren’t prepared to handle. With two max contracts the Clippers are not prepared to fill out their roster with an estimated $23 million of cap space going into the offseason. DeAndre Jordan got a 4 year, $40 million dollars contract this offseason and I would imagine Harrell deserves more money than that. The Pistons would get a great center to replace Andre Drummond and would be able to pay him an appropriate amount of money for his services. If the Pistons could acquire someone like Frank Ntilikina for Drummond, they might actually have a team worth building towards. Ntilikina, Kennard, and Harrell is not the worst starting point for a franchise positioned for a lottery pick.