When All-Star center Andre Drummond was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Detroit Pistons were expected to part ways with Derrick Rose and their other veterans next and undergo a full-scale rebuild. Surprisingly, the Pistons ended up keeping Rose for the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season and told everyone in the league that they still considered the former MVP a part of their long-term plan. However, there are rumors that the Pistons actually tried to move Rose before the 2020 February trade deadline.
According to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, the Pistons “explored trading” Rose before the trade deadline in February with the hope that they could acquire a future first-round pick from teams that wanted to boost their chances of contending for the championship title in the 2019-20 season. The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly expressed a strong interest in acquiring Rose from the Pistons. However, as Bucher revealed, the salary cap rules prevented the Lakers from trading this year’s first-round pick since they already sent their 2021 first-rounder to the New Orleans Pelicans to acquire All-Star center Anthony Davis last summer.
An Eastern Conference general manager who spoke to Bucher claimed that the Lakers weren’t the only NBA team who called the Pistons about a potential trade involving Rose. Unfortunately, unlike the Lakers, the other suitors of Rose weren’t willing to give up a first-round pick to the Pistons to add him to the roster. According to a Western Conference executive, the Pistons’ asking price for Rose was “too great,” believing that they should have accepted a trade offer that included a young quality player or future second-round picks.
“The ask was too great,” the Western Conference executive said. “They totally mishandled that. It was the perfect time to move him. He was the ultimate rental at the trade deadline. You could keep him fresh for the playoffs and still have him next year on a very cap-friendly deal. He would’ve made a first-round playoff team into a second-round team, and he would’ve put the Lakers or the Clippers over the top.”
The Pistons shouldn’t feel bad about their inability to find Rose a new home before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. With Rose still under contract until the 2020-21 season, the Pistons have the entire 2020 offseason to think whether they really want to keep Rose long term in Detroit or not. If the Pistons start listening to offers and decide to lower their asking price for Rose, they would likely get a done deal this fall.