Derrick Rose had a nice bounce-back season in 2018-19, and the Detroit Pistons seem set to buy into a continued resurgence.
If this were eight or nine years ago, Derrick Rose would be one of the biggest names on the NBA free agent market if he would have been available. That doesn’t mean there won’t be a solid market for his services when free agency opens Sunday night though, and according to Frank Isola of The Athletic the Detroit Pistons have become the frontrunners to sign the former league MVP.
Rose had a resurgent season with the Minnesota Timberwolves last season, averaging 18.0 points, 4.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game while shooting 48.2 percent from the floor, 37 percent from 3-point range and 85.6 percent from the line. That was his best overall shooting percentage since his second season in the league with the Chicago Bulls (2009-10), and his career-best rate from beyond the arc with a decent amount of volume (2.9 attempts per game).
Rose topped 20 points in a game 16 times in 2018-19, including a turn-back-the-clock 50-point game against the Utah Jazz in the first of the 13 games he started.
Rose also added more notes to his injury history ledger last season. He did not play after March 10 due to an elbow injury that required surgery, after also missing a couple stretches of games with a right ankle issue. But after a lost season split between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Timberwolves in 2017-18, playing 51 games being as productive as he was pretty big progress.
With Ish Smith and Jose Calderon headed for unrestricted free agency the Pistons are in the market for a point guard to pair with Reggie Jackson, who is a possible trade candidate heading into (or during) the final year of his contract.
Detroit is actually over the salary cap right now, so all or part of the mid-level exception is what they can offer Rose. But since he played for the minimum in each of the last two seasons that would be a reasonable raise, and with an opportunity to fill a key role Rose may sign with the Pistons pretty quickly.