NBA Rumors: Pistons Could Replace Backup PG Ish Smith With Derrick Rose Or Isaiah Thomas In Free Agency

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The Detroit Pistons will be heading into the 2019 NBA offseason with the goal of addressing their backcourt issues. The Pistons may have Reggie Jackson under contract for the 2019-20 NBA season, but backup point guards Ish Smith and Jose Calderon will be hitting the free agent market next summer.

Some people may think that the Pistons can immediately solve the problem by re-signing Ish Smith. However, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, the Pistons are better off finding a new backup point guard in the 2019 NBA free agency.

“So why not just re-sign Smith? There’s his age. There’s his performance against the Bucks (he struggled — like many other Pistons). And let’s be frank: Using most of the mid-level exception would likely bring a better option than Smith, who is a solid backup.”

As Ellis revealed, one of the potential targets for the Pistons next summer is Derrick Rose of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“Derrick Rose is a free-agent option who will be a subject of debate within the front office, according to a source with firsthand knowledge of franchise thinking. Coming off a resurgent season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the one-time MVP will likely get a raise from his bargain $2.1 million salary this season.”

A year ago, most people thought that Derrick Rose would already retire. Rose has dealt with numerous injuries in the past years and his performance in the 2017-18 NBA season has been a huge disappointment. However, after receiving a second chance from the Timberwolves, the former MVP proved that he still has lots of gas left in his tank. Rose didn’t only return from being a reliable scoring point guard, but he also succeeded to improve his three-point shooting. In 51 games he played this season, Rose averaged 18.0 points and 4.3 assists on 48.2 percent shooting from the field and 37.0 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

Another intriguing free-agent target for the Pistons is Isaiah Thomas of the Denver Nuggets. Thomas is yet to regain his All-Star form since suffering a hip injury in 2017. However, the 30-year-old point guard is confident that he can still be a reliable contributor, especially when he’s given enough playing time. Thomas is only two-year removed from being a frontrunner to win the MVP award and if he can return to his old self, he can definitely be a huge help for Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond in bringing the Pistons back to the NBA Finals in the 2019-20 NBA season.