Detroit Pistons: Small haul but Derrick Rose trade will pay off later

Derrick Rose #25 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Derrick Rose #25 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Where , and when Derrick Rose was traded to , by the Detroit Pistons,was noted by NBA players. That could help the club out in the future.

In the trade, getting a guy who was literally heading to play in the G-League, and also what should be a mid-second round draft pick for Derrick Rose, is not exactly a major trade haul for the Detroit Pistons.

However, there are other factors at work with this deal. In the end, the Rose trade may pay off much bigger than merely getting Dennis Smith Jr. and Charlotte’s 2021 second-rounder.

NBA players noted the Derrick Rose trade, and that should help the Detroit Pistons in future

A quick look at the NBA standings shows that basically everyone except the Detroit Pistons and the Minnesota Timberwolves are in the hunt for a playoff spot. And, when Karl-Anthony Towns returns, do not count out the T-Wolves from making a run.

That means 28 teams will be looking for help either to make the playoffs or go farther in the post-season.

Since everyone thinks they are in the playoff hunt (or at least want their owner to think that), there are going to be less sellers than usual as the trade deadline (March 25 )approached. The trade deadline is the last realistic chance NBA teams have to improve themselves.

Common sense says there would be a market for Derrick Rose’s services. What team could not use a fast, play-making point guard who can score off the dribble and is also a great team leader?

The calls to Pistons general manager Troy Weaver would have been fast and furious in mid-March, the pressure on other teams (usually by their owner) to show they are going all out to win.

Now, we are not talking crazy here, like what the Lions got for Matthew Stafford. But, a lottery- protected future first-round pick would seem to be doable. Detroit was offered that last season for Rose, but the old regime turned it down.

Related Story. How the Detroit Pistons messed up the Derrick Rose era. light

So why? Why  now Troy?

First, for all the hype about getting a former 9th overall pick in the draft in Dennis Smith Jr., a look at his contract (courtesy Spotrac) shows that Detroit really gains almost nothing by having him.

Smith will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. To retain his rights, the Pistons would have to make a qualifying offer of $7.7 million. Unless he makes a massive upgrade of his play of the past couple of seasons, that is not happening.

So Smith will likely go into the off-season an unrestricted free agent. Detroit could bid for his services, but they would have no special advantage.

Maybe Smith will like the Pistons culture, the players, coach Dwane Casey and want to return after being with the team for a few months. Maybe he rejects other teams offers to return to the Pistons, if they even want him.

Bottom-line, Smith is a short-term rental.

As for the Charlotte pick, unfortunately, the way LaMelo Ball is playing, the Hornets will be in the thick of the playoff hunt. Expect their second rounder to be in the No. 42-45 range.

The ironic thing is, the Knicks have the rights to the Pistons’ own 2021 second-rounder. If Troy Weaver had simply said “You get Rose and I get my second round pick returned to me” and the Knicks agreed, everyone would think it was a great deal.

I have no doubt that Weaver did ask for Detroit’s second-rounder and was rebuffed.

So why, in early February, did Weaver not simply walk away, knowing he probably could get more for Rose if he waited. If not from the Knicks, than from another team.