Although the Los Angeles Lakers still lead the Western Conference with a 24-6 record, the team’s three-game losing streak has raised some concerns regarding their lack of depth behind superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Specifically, the team’s perceived weakness at point guard has been mentioned as an area the Lakers might need to address before the February trade deadline. With this in mind, a new report suggests that Detroit Pistons point guard Derrick Rose might be a plausible target for Los Angeles if the organization decides to further upgrade its roster.
On Tuesday, Complex’s Zach Frydenlund published a list of five potential targets the Lakers should consider ahead of the trade deadline. While he mostly suggested familiar names such as Andre Iguodala (Memphis Grizzlies), J.J. Redick (New Orleans Pelicans), and Dennis Schroder (Oklahoma City Thunder), he also recommended Rose, who hasn’t been prominently linked to the Lakers in trade rumors but could “make some headlines” as a big-name acquisition.
As explained by Frydenlund, trading Rose to the Lakers could work because of a number of factors, including the fact that he briefly played alongside James in the 2017-18 Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as his “fairly cheap” contract with Detroit. The 31-year-old point guard’s solid play for the Pistons was also brought up as a reason why Los Angeles could benefit from his arrival — if they decide to make a move for him. No theoretical trade packages, however, were discussed in Frydenlund’s story, may it be for Rose or the other recommended targets.
???? Derrick Rose hits Siakam with the behind the back move then gets the bucket & the foul on Ibaka!— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) December 19, 2019
16 PTS | 5 AST | 4 REB | 28 MINS
While injuries have prevented Rose from replicating the numbers he posted in his MVP-winning 2010-11 season, he has been a key member of the Pistons’ rotation so far, averaging 16.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, and six assists per game despite playing just 24.4 minutes per game in a reserve role, per Basketball-Reference. He was, however, less productive in his time with the Cavaliers in 2017-18, as he averaged just 9.8 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 16 games before getting traded.
Regardless of whether the Lakers trade for Rose or any of the other veteran talents mentioned in the Complex report, other sources have suggested that their subpar bench depth, in general, is something that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later. As pointed out by ESPN, this weakness was particularly apparent in Los Angeles’ recent losses against the Denver Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks, as the team has “major issues” whenever James is on the bench and second-unit players such as Rajon Rondo, Kyle Kuzma, and Quinn Cook are forced to step up.