Detroit Pistons Derrick Rose: Separating fandom and business

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

When it comes to Derrick Rose, we are forced to bench our emotions and look at his future with the Detroit Pistons from more of a business point of view.  Sometimes it’s easier said than done.

It was when Ed Stefanski and company brought the former MVP point guard Derrick Rose to Detroit on a very team-friendly deal many of us couldn’t wait to get down to Little Caesars Arena again to take in a Detroit Pistons game in person.

The combination of Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, and Derrick Rose created plenty of buzz, but it never translated onto the hardwood.  This past season was a lost season for star forward Griffin just a year removed from a career-type year statistically in his first full season with the Pistons.

Later, the Pistons traded Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavilers at the NBA trade deadline, assuring themselves that the big-man wouldn’t be able to opt-in to a massive player option next season that will pay him $28-million next year.  Drummond, a double-double machine, is impressive in his own right, but in today’s NBA centers need to be able to also score from range, Drummond struggles to score the basketball unless he’s within five feet of the rim.  It’s hard to pay a guy nearly $30-million to collect defensive boards and produce a spotty effort on the defensive side of things much too often.

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That leaves Derrick Rose.  Rose had dazzled in his first season with the Detroit Pistons.  The 31-year old has rejuvenated his career after struggling to find his game since he left his hometown Chicago Bulls.  Rose carved out a role for himself with the Minnesota Timberwolves after struggling with the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavilers scoring 18 points per game over 51 games last season.

Rose’s production, along with his willingness to come off the bench, earned him a two-year deal in Detroit worth $15-million.  Leading up to the NBA pause due to COVID-19, Rose was yet again averaging over 18 points per game and also elevated his assist total to 5.6 per game, the best since his fourth NBA season.

In just 26 minutes per game, Rose was shooting 49% from the field, 30% from three, and 87% from the charity stripe.  Rose’s three-point shooting has taken a significant dip this season from 37% last year, but other than that, he’s been just as advertised.  Does Rose have a future with the Detroit Pistons?

Derrick Rose’s name continued to surface, leading up to the NBA trade deadline this past winter.  He’d been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, and he’d been a perfect fit.  Rose spent some time with LeBron James briefly in Cleveland, and although the experiment didn’t work at the time, Rose was still ironing out some kinks in his game.  James would have welcomed the veteran now, but the Pistons continued to mention they’d prefer to keep Rose around for at least another season.

Would the Detroit Pistons be willing to extend Rose?  Unlikely, but let me tell you something, with Rose playing as well as he was along with his history in the league, he was drawing fans to the arena.  He’s also a great mentor for the young up, and coming Pistons as the team continues to rebuild.  Griffin and Rose bring plenty of career success to help the younger players round out their game.

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As a fan, I’d love to see Derrick Rose play out the rest of his career in Detroit. Still, from a business standpoint, the Detroit Pistons would be wise to trade Rose for future assets next season before the NBA trade deadline approaches, especially if he continues to perform at the same level he has over the last two seasons.  He’d be a valuable commodity to a playoff team as a depth scoring guard who can play the one or two coming off of the bench.