Detroit Pistons point guard Derrick Rose is expected to be one of the most coveted players on the trade block this offseason. With the team likely heading into an inevitable rebuild, it would be best for the Pistons to trade the former MVP than lose him in the summer of 2021 as an unrestricted free agent without getting anything in return. One of the teams that is expected to express a strong interest in acquiring Rose from Detroit are the reigning NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers have been interested in adding Rose to their roster since the trade window back in February. Though a deal failed to materialize during that time, one general manager who spoke to Sean Deveney of Heavy believes the Lakers-Pistons trade is “much more likely now.”
“I think both sides were reluctant when they went into in January, February,” the anonymous GM 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. Now, everything has shifted a little. Now, they’re both in a position to where a deal is much more likely now.”
It’s hardly a surprise why the Lakers remain interested in trading for the former MVP. Despite successfully bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy, the Purple and Gold are still far from perfect and have issues that they need to address on their team. Rose may no longer be in his prime, but he is capable of solving the Lakers’ major problem in their backcourt.
Rose would give the Lakers another shot creator and playmaker who would lessen the burden on LeBron James’ shoulders, especially on the offensive end of the floor. Rose and James’ lone season of playing together in Cleveland may have been a huge disaster, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing would happen once they reunite in Los Angeles. Compared to when he was a Cavalier, Rose is now in much better shape and has shown massive improvement with his floor-spacing, making him an intriguing fit alongside James and Anthony Davis.
Rose may not have given any strong indication that he’s no longer happy with the Pistons, but at this point in his career, he would be better off playing for a legitimate title contender than wasting his remaining years in the league mentoring young players on a rebuilding team.