Over the past week, rumors have been heating up on the newly-crowned NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers potentially acquiring Derrick Rose this off-season. But there’s a particular team that hasn’t been mentioned enough and should, quite frankly, be talked about more as a possible landing spot for the former league MVP. That’s the Golden State Warriors.
This upcoming off-season should be an interesting one for Golden State. The squad that made five straight NBA Finals found itself at the bottom of the league standings this past season.
As a team looking to launch itself back into the title picture as it gets its championship-caliber core back healthy, the Dubs still need to fill out their roster with a quality supporting cast. Derrick Rose would be a good piece to start with.
The Warriors have positioned themselves quite well to transition into this post-superteam era, following the departure of Kevin Durant. Golden State has a number of ways to improve its lineup. They have the no. 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft and can also acquire a solid veteran through the taxpayer’s mid-level exception. One other way that they can add a high-impact player is through the $17.2 million traded player exception (TPE) which they obtained from dealing away Andre Iguodala.
The Warriors can cash in on the TPE to bring in Derrick Rose, whose $7.3 million price tag for the 2020-21 season should fit right in. With that, Golden State could sell the Detroit Pistons the idea of moving up five spots from no. 7 to no. 2 in the upcoming NBA draft. In exchange, the Warriors obtain the 7th overall pick from the Pistons and get a proven veteran playmaker in D-Rose.
But there are reports that Golden State is hesitant to use that move unless it’s for a “special opportunity.” In case they don’t view D-Rose as such, there’s still a way the Warriors can construct a package to match Rose’s cheap expiring deal.
Admittedly, I did this in NBA 2K. While it may not be the best way to evaluate a player’s fit, Rose provided the Warriors with a nice complementary piece next to Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in the backcourt. Steve Kerr should be able to mix-and-match those three in his guard rotations and even play them all together in some stretches.
Derrick Rose would instantly become Golden State’s primary scoring option off the bench, something that their currently constructed roster sorely lacks. Likewise, he would also provide them with a steady veteran playmaker in the second unit.
In 50 games this past 2019-20 season, majority of which came as a reserve, the 2008 no. 1 overall pick averaged 18.1 points and 5.6 assists, while shooting an efficient 49.0 percent from the field. If Rose gets somewhere near that type of production and efficiency, that should be a major boost for the Warriors.
Now, some may scoff at this idea (maybe Lakers fans?) and argue that Rose’s lack of shooting may not fit well in Golden State. But didn’t the Warriors have someone like this in Shaun Livingston? While Rose may be shorter, he is a better playmaker and gives the Warriors’ backcourt a consistent penetrator to the basket. Likewise, unlike Livingston, Rose actually shoots a couple of threes per game.
Under Kerr’s efficient offensive system, Rose could replicate the efficiency he has been putting up over the last couple of seasons with Minnesota and Detroit. The Chicago-native has shot 48.6 percent from the field and made 33.8 percent of his shots from long range over the past two years.
The Warriors could also slot Rose into the Jarrett Jack spot they had prior to their championship-winning years. They could play Rose alongside both Curry and Thompson and the space he would get beside two of the best shooters in NBA history would benefit his elite driving game.
Perhaps one of the biggest concerns for Golden State would be Rose’s health. He only appeared in 101 out of a possible 148 games over the last two seasons. He played just 51 games in 2018-19 and missed 15 contests this past season.
It might not be ideal for the Warriors to rely on two 32-year old point guards for a full season. So they may need to find another reliable third-string PG or hope that Ky Bowman can fill in spot minutes throughout the regular season.
Nonetheless, if the Warriors want an incredible back-up to complement Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, they should look no further than the youngest MVP in NBA history. I mean, if Derrick Rose is already coming off the bench for a team like the Pistons or the Timberwolves, why not do so for the best backcourt in the NBA?