Although the Los Angeles Lakers will enter the 2020-21 season as the prohibitive favorites to repeat as champions, the front office has several tough decisions to make regarding the roster.
Several key players are free agents and there is no guarantee who or how many will return as they will have their suitors come free agency. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope deserves a raise after his impressive performances in the NBA Finals, while Dwight Howard is reportedly already a target of the Golden State Warriors.
The Lakers will not have much cap room to play around with, but do have some assets that could net them a contributor via the trade market. One player who could be available is Derrick Rose as he is stuck on a rebuilding Detroit Pistons team and is a likely candidate to be sent out for assets.
According to Sean Deveney of Heavy, a trade between the two teams appears more feasible now than it was at the deadline last season:
“I think both sides were reluctant when they went into in January, February,” one general manager told Heavy.com. “I don’t think the Lakers wanted to make a major move because they thought they could do something on the buyout market. And I don’t think the Pistons wanted to make a major move because Derrick was happy there. You know, the Lakers wanted to be involved in case the Clippers got involved or someone else, the Bucks or the Nuggets, whoever. So there was interest but not too serious. Now, everything has shifted a little. Now, they’re both in a position to where a deal is much more likely now.”
Rose was a popular trade target for several teams given his scoring ability off the bench and secondary playmaking chops and his fit on the Lakers would be easy to envision. It seems the point guard has shaken off his injury-prone tag and would be a needle mover for any team that acquires him.
Rajon Rondo is reportedly going to decline his player option which would leave a hole at the backup point guard position. It remains to be seen whether a deal will get made, but it is something to look out for.
How Rose fits on Lakers roster
If the Lakers do end up trading for Rose, he would immediately slot in as their third option on offense. He no longer has the same burst and quickness, but when healthy has proven he can still get to the rim and collapse a defense.
Rose’s jump shot is also much-improved and could help bail out the stagnant offensive possessions that Los Angeles often suffered.
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