Detroit Pistons: 3 ways the organization can utilize Derrick Rose in 2021

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports /

Last season the Detroit Pistons enjoyed a rejuvenated Derrick Rose.  How will the organization use the veteran point guard in 2021?

It’s really unfathomable to think, but the former league MVP, Derrick Rose, is now a 32-years old. In 2021, Rose will start the year serving as a mentor to the Detroit Pistons‘ seventh overall pick, Killian Hayes.

After selecting a pick-and-roll specialist to anchor Detroit’s point for years to come, Rose will play a vital role in bringing the rookie along for at least the first few months of the 2020-21 NBA season.  It’s really a perfect situation for a kid like Hayes; he could not have wished for a better teacher.

It’s a role that Rose himself did not want to embrace a few years ago during his time with the New York Knicks.  If you recall, Rose’s agent once said, ‘you’re a mentor when you can no longer play.’  It’s a bit of a harsh statement, but that statement was constructed during a dark time in Rose’s career when you think about it.  A time when his talents and ability to remain healthy were often questioned.

The Detroit Pistons, amid a wholesale rebuild, leaves Blake Griffin as the longest-tenured player on the current roster.  It is an organization that needs both he and Rose to embrace the youth movement and help them along, providing them with valuable veteran leadership.

More from Detroit Jock City

As Rose enters the final year of his current deal with the Detroit Pistons, how will the organization utilize his skill set during the 2021 season?

Option One: Starting at the point.

The Detroit Pistons are expected to start the rookie Hayes from day one at the point guard position, but if they feel like they’d prefer to roll with Rose for a month or two while the rookie marinates some, that would be fine too.  Rose excelled last season, leading Detroit in points per game, averaging a touch over 18 points to go with 5.6 assists and 2.4 boards through 50 games.

Rose also shot 49% from the field, 30.6% from long-range while maintaining a stellar 87.1% conversion rate from the charity stripe in 2019-20.

The veteran could easily step in and be a very efficient starter for the Detroit Pistons if Hayes struggles to adjust to the league early.

Option Two: Coming off the bench.

Rose played extremely well last season, coming in off the bench for the Detroit Pistons, who tried to limit his minutes through the first half of the season.

It was nice to see the veteran come in and give the Pistons second unit some juice off the bench, usually being the offense’s focal point.  As previously mentioned, Rose led the Pistons in points per game while coming off the bench.  Teams generally start their superstars, but in this case, Rose played starter minutes as the year grew old but off of the bench, generally starting his night fresh against their opponents’ second unit.

Teams don’t always start their ‘best five,’ they enter the game with a plan that stems around their offense.  Sure, Rose and Griffin can play together, but instead of sharing looks on the court together, playing them apart will allow head coach Dwane Casey to run his offense through Griffin while the starters are on the court, and Rose while Griffin is getting a rest.

Rose started 15 times last season, leaving the Detroit Pistons to start the likes of Bruce Brown (43), Tim Frazier (11), and Reggie Jackson (10) the rest of the time.

Option Three: Starting at the two.

This is my least preferred option, but Casey may decide that he’d like Rose to play alongside the rookie Hayes to start the season, and while it wouldn’t be my favorite option, it’s something I could learn to understand.

Playing as a two-guard alongside Hayes would provide some ball-handling stability for the organization, especially early on in the season.  If Hayes is ‘fighting-it’ as he acclimates to the NBA, Rose can be right there to carry it up the court when needed.

Rose is the most efficient with the ball in his hands, attacking the rim or lowering his shoulder and pulling up for his patented mid-range jump shot where he’s deadly.  The veteran isn’t great from deep-range only shooting about 30% from three isn’t an ideal conversion rate in today’s NBA, especially from a two-guard.

I’d rather like to see Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk play as the shooting guard on the second team with Rose, leaving the newly acquired Delon Wright to start with the rookie Hayes.

dark. Next. Josh Jackson is the perfect low-risk, high-reward signing

I’m excited to see what formation the Detroit Pistons use to start the season.  I’m also going to enjoy every second of Rose in a Piston’s jersey, understanding he will likely be dealt with a playoff-bound team at the league’s trade deadline.