Let it be known that the Detroit Pistons have become the new hub for reviving injury-riddled NBA superstars. Well, at least this is the narrative Pistons’ fans are hoping for at the conclusion of next season. Joining Blake Griffin in pushing for this narrative to become a reality is Derrick Rose. The youngest-ever league MVP has agreed to a 2-year $15 million deal on the opening day of free agency with Detroit. Likely the best backup point guard on the market, Rose will be making just $7.5 million a year, an absolute steal for the tightly budgeted Detroit Pistons.
With Ish Smith signing a 2-year $12 million deal with the Wizards Detroit is essentially paying just $1.5 million extra for more production at the backup point guard spot.
In 51 games this past season Rose posted 18ppg while shooting 48.2% from the field and shot a skyrocketing career-high 37% from 3pt land. A beautiful stat to behold this season was Rose’s first positive +/- (0.7) since the 2014-15 campaign.
The soon to be 31-year-old point guard finished better than Piston’s backup PG Ish Smith this year in rebounds, assists, steals, points, and tied his avg. for blocks per game. Undoubtedly, this is an upgrade at the backup point guard spot. Rose brings the same push-the-pace style play Smith offered with double the scoring capability. Rose standing at 6’3” offers the length the Pistons have been trying to achieve and lacked at the backup PG spot with Ish last year who stands just 6 feet tall. As good as Ish has been for the Pistons in recent years the Pistons have desperately needed more consistent scoring, and come playoff time when Ish was really zoned in on he was unable to provide that.
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Rose will be able to not only score consistently but will effortlessly get to the rack whenever he wants. This will allow for a less stagnant second unit offense in half-court sets, as well as create more open looks due to the attention Rose will draw from defenders. Something to have great excitement over is Rose’s well-known ability to buckle down and be clutch when needed. Detroit certainly will look forward to the stability he will bring night in and night out for the second unit. Although Blake is a power forward and Rose a Point guard, this signing will take some of the playmaking responsibility off of Blake’s back throughout the course of games.
Better yet, take a moment to imagine the “death lineup” of playmaking ability Detroit can now roll out with Rose and Griffin. This coming season should certainly promise more fluent scoring and far fewer moments when we feel like we could suit up and get Dwane Casey a bucket. Yes, take a deep breath, and smile– less missed layups are coming this season. While Rose likely will not start for Detroit, one can imagine he will have his minutes with Blake Griffin on the floor. It is simply unreal trying to grasp the amount of talent that will be on the floor when both Blake and Rose are healthy.
Unfortunately, health has to be touched on. Basically, the only downside of this signing is the fact Rose has not played in 80 games since his MVP season in ‘11. That is 8 years ago if you do the math correctly. On top of that, Pistons “fan-favorite” Reggie Jackson has an injury history. Although Jackson impressively played all 82 regular-season games last season, it is still concerning that both point guards could find themselves on an injury report. Yet again, this past season Ish Smith played just 4 more games than Rose whose season was ended short for precautionary reasons. The point is that if just one of these two can stay healthy the vast majority of the season, the Pistons will be in good shape. However, should both go down with an injury, the Pistons have tons of young guard talent in Svi Mykhailiuk, Khyri Thomas, Jordan Bone, and Bruce Brown to develop.
Rose will also bring some much needed national media attention to Detroit. With one of the newest arenas in the NBA on hand Detroit has certainly lacked the marketing it deserves to be handed by TNT and ESPN. With the summer of 2020 presenting a boatload of cap space, having Detroit grab any increase in the spotlight will be extremely helpful to not only the team but the city. For those dying to see those teal throwbacks become reality, adding the ‘08 #1 pick to a roster with the ‘09 number 1 pick certainly will help. Derrick Rose is going to help fill seats in LCA, and that alone is a very important plus for this franchise.
It is certainly refreshing to see the team make a cost-effective move right at the start of free agency. Looking around the league so many others have been violently overpaid. As Pistons’ Beat writer Rod Beard stated, this signing is a single rather than a home run.
To me, this signing could quickly become an overthrow to first base, steal from second to third, with good health coming to the plate to knock in D-Rose with a sac fly, making this signing a big-time score for the Pistons. Derrick will fit the mold of Detroit with his well-known perseverance and hard work. For Derrick Rose’s post 30-year-old NBA career “We hope for better things” and wish “It will rise from the ashes” just as the city of Detroit’s flag states. Having come from poverty in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago, through the unforgiving injuries, to being turned on by the very city he put on for, past the false rape allegation, Derrick has been built with the toughness Detroiters can relate to all too well. Regardless of what Derrick’s future as a Piston holds, this city will embrace him for his hard work, the very thing his hometown of Chicago overlooked. Thanks for choosing our comeback here in Detroit Derrick, this fanbase will proudly support yours. Welcome to Detroit.
Featured Image: Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports
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