Pistons Lead

Detroit Ready to Smells the Rose(s)

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Coming into the offseason, the Detroit Pistons had a few holes on their roster with minimal flexibility to fill them.  Ish Smith, Zaza Pachulia, Wayne Ellington and Glenn Robinson were on their way out.  Detroit needed to find depth at point guard, small forward and center.  Draft week saw them add Sekou Doumbouya and Tony Snell, two forwards to build on the depth.  Detroit struck first on a point guard in a market that proved to be very competitive.

Derrick Rose is a Detroit Piston.   Obviously he is not the peak D-Rose; otherwise he would have not been available for the deal Detroit was able to land him on.  But he took strides last year in Minnesota and proved that he can still be a big bonus off the bench.

Rose-Colored Glasses

With the imminent loss of Ish Smith to the Wizards, Detroit only had Reggie Jackson as pure point guard.  While Bruce Brown played spot minutes at the position, that is not a solid plan going into the season.  Rose had his best season since his first in New York last year for the Timberwolves.  Transitioning into a sixth man role was much better for his health.  He suffered an elbow injury that eventually required surgery, but reports indicate this may have been a bad team shutting him down early.  Before the injury, he showcased elite three-point shooting that is not likely to be sustainable.  He still posted the following stats for the season:

18.0 PPG (48% FG, 37% 3PT), 4.3 APG, 27.3 MPG

If Rose can replicate those numbers he will be a major upgrade over Ish Smith.  Smith shot worse from both the floor and three-point range.  He averaged nearly 10 fewer points per game and almost an assist fewer per game in only five fewer minutes.  Bench scoring was a major weakness for the Pistons this season, as the team struggled offensively any time Blake Griffin and/or Reggie Jackson sat.  A bench guard combination of D-Rose and Luke Kennard could be explosive against second units and will likely be a favorite pairing for Pistons fans.

Possible Thorns

Rose’s biggest red flag is health.  He has a history of knee and elbow issues and has not played in more than 65 games since 2015.  The Pistons’ struggles occurred when Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith spent significant time on the sidelines over the last few years and the risk will still be there with Rose.

Off-the-court issues have also been in Rose’s past.  There were times that he disappeared from the team facility and his brother was considered too heavily involved in his off-court planning.  He was also investigated for sexual assault, although he was ultimately found not guilty.  Since he left the Knicks two years ago though, these issues have been much quieter and Rose seems to have matured significantly.  If he is the player he was at the beginning of last season, however, he is exactly what the Pistons needed.

Moving Forward

Detroit is looking to make a return to the postseason for just the third time since the end of the “Going to Work” era.  They have now added Derrick Rose and Tony Snell in terms of veteran presence.  Ed Stefanski is building around Blake Griffin in a way that makes the team competitive.  They will still have options next offseason.  Reggie Jackson will be on an expiring contract this season and while he is currently better than Derrick Rose, it is not impossible to see a future where the move him at the deadline if Rose plays like he did last season.

The Pistons are looking at adding additional veterans to the roster.  JaVale McGee met with them team on Sunday.  Value is key and Derrick Rose is a great value gamble for a team that is limited on assets.  In Stefanski We Trust.

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