Derrick Rose is having his best season since leaving the Chicago Bulls as he is averaging 18.3 points and 5.9 assists per game on over 50 percent shooting, and it seems as though the rest of the NBA has taken notice. With the Detroit Pistons falling out of the playoff race, a number of contenders have reportedly inquired on Rose's availability. That list includes championship contenders like the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, who also reported that the Clippers have called about Rose, but in a more exploratory manner.
Rose's impact on the Pistons goes well beyond his own raw numbers. Detroit's offense is miserable when he doesn't play, scoring only 104.3 points per 100 possessions when he goes to the bench, but a far better 111.3 when he is on the floor. To contenders who might have been worried that his scoring represented empty calories on a bad team, those numbers should be enormously reassuring.
Rose is reportedly happy with the Pistons and isn't seeking a trade, but his contract makes him one of the more desirable veterans on the market. Not only does Rose have a minuscule $7.3 million cap number, but he is under contract next season at a similar salary. That is absolutely critical for teams like the Lakers and Sixers, whose money is mostly tied into players who serve critical functions in their rotations. Any team trading for Rose would only need to send out around $4.2 million in salary to fit the deal under the cap.
Detroit's price in terms of assets, though, is a bit less clear. The Pistons will likely ask for a first-round pick, but that could limit the pool of teams with which they could negotiate. The Lakers, for instance, do not have a legally tradeable first-round pick. The Clippers can only trade their 2020 pick and none beyond that. Philadelphia has future picks to trade, but after giving up two for Tobias Harris last season, their interest in surrendering more is debatable.
Even so, the Pistons should have little trouble creating a market for Rose. The trade market is currently fairly thin on difference-making ball-handlers at affordable salaries, and with several teams in the market for just such a player, Rose will garner significant interest. Where he goes will simply be a matter of who is willing to pay the rebuilding Pistons for his services.