After acquiring All-Star center Anthony Davis and quality veterans this summer, the Los Angeles Lakers succeeded in turning themselves from one of the worst teams into a legitimate title contender. However, despite currently holding the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference, the Lakers still have plenty of issues that they need to address on their roster, including their need for another playmaker and shot-creator. One of the potential trade targets for the Lakers this offseason is Derrick Rose of the Detroit Pistons.
In his recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report included the Rose-to-Lakers deal as one of the most realistic potential trades of the summer of 2020. Despite Rose dealing with multiple injuries in the past, Swartz believes that trading for him still makes a lot of sense for the Lakers, as his arrival in Los Angeles could immediately solve their backcourt problem.
“For L.A., Rose’s injury history would still be worth the risk,” Swartz wrote. “The 31-year-old has played in 50 games this year, averaging 18.1 points and 5.6 assists, primarily as a sixth man. He’d likely play the same role with the Lakers, allowing LeBron James to get some extra rest while taking over both scoring and playmaking duties.”
Rose and James’ lone season of playing together in Cleveland may have been a disaster, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the same thing would happen if they team up again in Los Angeles. Unlike when he was playing for the Cavaliers, Rose is now in much better shape and has dramatically improved his three-point shooting. Having Rose on their roster would give the Lakers less concern in terms of scoring and playmaking when James needs to rest or suffers an injury.
In the proposed deal by Bleacher Report, the Lakers would be sending a trade package including Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, JaVale McGee, Talen Horton-Tucker, a 2022 second-round pick, and a 2023 second-round pick to the Pistons in exchange for Rose and Luke Kennard. Aside from Rose, the potential deal would also allow the Lakers to acquire a sharpshooter in Kennard. As Swartz noted, Kennard would provide the Lakers insurance in the wing if Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Avery Bradley, or Dion Waiters leaves in this year’s free agency.
The potential deal would be a no-brainer for the Pistons, especially if they finally decide to undergo a full-scale rebuild. Kuzma could serve as the Pistons’ starting power forward next season, provided that they find a taker for Blake Griffin and his massive contract. Caruso would be an immediate replacement for Rose at the Pistons’ backcourt, while McGee could temporarily take Drummond’s place. Horton-Tucker, who’s just 19, could be an integral part of the Pistons’ young core. The two future draft picks would enable the Pistons to add more young and promising talents to their roster.