He is 32 years old and no longer the high flying acrobatic athlete he once was in his MVP season 2011 but he can still play the game of basketball. Derrick Rose was once tasked with living up to being the #1 overall pick and leading the Bulls to their first title since Michael Jordan, injuries prevented that from ever having a chance of happening but Rose could become a champion if the Lakers manage to trade for him. I’ll go as far to say I think he is the piece the Lakers need to complete a 3-peat over the next few years. The eye test throughout the bubble showed me LeBron James and Anthony Davis can impose their will defensively whenever needed and turn it up offensively as well but they seemed to lack a shot creator beyond LeBron James. Watching Rajon Rondo knock down 3’s off the dribble was certainly not something I expected but I saw how much momentum he gave the Lakers the moment he would be inserted into games. Losing Rondo would be a huge blow offensively and defensively, the Lakers would lose the exceptional chemistry between Rondo and Davis but would gain Rose who is a much better scorer and more of a threat offensively.
Rose has 1 more year remaining on his contract before he becomes a unrestricted free-agent, LeBron is locked in for the next 2 seasons and Davis will sign a 2 year extension at the very least with the Lakers when free-agency rolls around so the Lakers could give Rose a 1-2 year deal just to match up with LeBron and Davis for the next 2-3 years. Rose coming over could signal to LeBron making a switch to the small-forward position once again where he could expend less energy by not having to be the primary ball handler and facilitator like he was this past season. Magic Johnson once said the idea of LeBron James being the Lakers’s permanent point guard was concerning and I agreed, coming back to play 8 regular season games and an entire playoffs after a 4-month break lead to a rested LeBron but he looked gassed in the NBA Finals and no one beats father time. I don’t jump out of bed like a spring-chicken like I did when I was a kid, LeBron should be retired by now but his conditioning and dedication to the game could give him the longevity of a Kareem Abdul Jabbar going into his late 30’s.
The LeBron James era will be over soon and I’d like to think by the time he is done winning titles whether you hate him or love him he will be neck and neck with Michael Jordan for the crown as the best basketball player ever. The Chicago Bulls always plugged in pieces around Michael Jordan by adding Ron Harper and Dennis Rodman through the latter stage of Michael’s career which led to 3 additional titles 1996-1998, the Lakers would be doing the same by trading for Derrick Rose. Whether he comes off the bench or starts I am confident Derrick Rose would be the 3rd option the Lakers lacked in the bubble behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis. I was optimistic about Kyle Kuzma being able to grow into that 3rd option but I saw no consistency from Kuzma offensively he came and he went the whole playoffs and I never noticed his presence on the court. Derrick Rose will be able to free up space for LeBron and Davis by drawing defenses out to the perimeter and Rose is good enough play-maker to punish teams by catching LeBron and Davis rolling to the rim.
It should be a point guard’s dream to have two targets the caliber of LeBron James and Anthony Davis who you could make the argument are 2 of the top 10 finishers in NBA history. No one has ever spoke about Derrick Rose’s skills as a passer, his MVP season he put that Bulls team on his back and was the sole reason the Bulls were in the Conference Finals 2011 against the Miami Heat. If Rose was able to lead Luol Deng,Carlos Boozer,and Joakim Noah to the Eastern Conference Finals what would he be able to do with LeBron James and Anthony Davis two once in a generation talents? And yes I know it was 10 years ago when Rose was in the Conference Finals but the Lakers don’t need him to play at an MVP level, they just need him to score 15-30 points a night and help keep the Lakers in games when LeBron takes a breather. Let’s face it LeBron won’t be able to play full-steam for a whole season and win championships any longer, not that Derrick Rose will be able to since he is past his prime already but he would certainly offer relief.
To conclude I just can’t watch Alex Caruso,Danny Green,and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope being forced to be play-makers and shot creators when the shot-clock is winding down and LeBron or Davis can’t get a shot off. The Lakers need someone who could be a consistent scorer and Derrick Rose will be able to provide just that, barring injury he will average 15 to 20 points per game playing with LeBron and Davis since LeBron will be coasting through regular seasons going forward and will turn it up a notch in the playoffs when needed. We haven’t seen a 3-peat since Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal last dominated the league in the early 2000’s, don’t LeBron and Davis give you that feeling like so long they are in the line-up they’ll be a threat for the title? I think adding Derrick Rose makes them a dynasty.