The Los Angeles Lakers flirted with the idea of trading for Derrick Rose before February's deadline, but the talks could get more serious this offseason.
One general manager told Sean Deveney of Heavy.com that the Lakers and Detroit Pistons may reopen negotiations:
"I think both sides were reluctant when they went into in January, February. 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 is coming off a stellar season as the Pistons' sixth man, averaging 18.1 points and 5.6 assists in what's amounted to a career renaissance. The 2011 NBA MVP was nearly out of basketball after a miserable experience with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017-18 before mounting a comeback with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Pistons the past two seasons.
The Lakers could look at Rose as a replacement for Rajon Rondo, who is expected to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. Rondo's playoff performance may take him out of the Lakers' limited price range, though they do have his limited Bird rights. The Lakers can offer Rondo a contract up to 105 percent of the NBA's average salary, but the deal must be at least two years without options.
Rose carries a relative bargain contract at $7.7 million. An ideal trade for the Lakers may involve the team getting out from under Danny Green's $15 million salary for 2021-22, packaging a future draft pick and Green for Rose. The Pistons should have enough money under the cap to absorb Green without sending matching salaries in return.
The Lakers will have limited ability to make moves beyond trades and the mid-level exception, so Rose may be a perfect addition to their repeat hopes.