How Derrick Rose has fallen.
The latest update on Rose’s free agent market comes from ESPN’s Chris Haynes, who reported that Rose and the Milwaukee Bucks are “in discussions to schedule a meeting.” This comes after a number of teams have been floated as suitors for Rose, but none of those reports has materialized into anything.
Rose’s tepid future is partly due to the point guard market, which in June looked like it would be wide open and by July had tightened considerably. But even though Rose averaged 18 points on 47 percent shooting last year, his inability to hit threes and his struggles on defense make him a relatively unattractive basketball player in the modern NBA.
This is the second meeting that Milwaukee will have with Rose, so there may be more smoke here than any of the meetings that had taken place before. However, it’s still a long ways off from being final for either side.
This doesn’t make a lot of sense for the Bucks.
Milwaukee’s point guard situation isn’t great, to be sure. Malcolm Brogdon surprised the whole NBA after being selected in the second round, playing 75 games and winning Rookie of the Year. Matthew Dellavedova started most of the year, shooting under 40 percent from the field but filling his role well in his first season away from Cleveland. It’s nothing against either player to call them one of the worst point guard duos in the league.
However, the Bucks don’t need better point guards. They still finished as the No. 13 offense last season, and that was with a half season missed by both Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker. Dellavedova is a quality off-ball fit for Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is best with the ball in his hands. Adding Rose would be adding another virtual non-shooter to a team that already has several, including their best player.
Worse, the Bucks are already in the luxury tax. It’s unlikely they would sign Rose for anything over the minimum until they could dump bad contracts like Spencer Hawes’ $6 million, John Henson’s $32 million over the next three years, or Greg Monroe’s $18 million. (Monroe was still useful off the second unit last season, but massively overpaid for that role.) Would it take an asset, even a second-round pick, to dump a bad contract like one of those? Is it worth giving up an asset (or several) to sign Rose?
Maybe Rose could pair with Dellavedova in the second-unit backcourt, providing a more reliable offensive scorer that the team didn’t have before. Otherwise ...
This makes more sense for Rose.
Chicago and Milwaukee are a one-and-a-half hour drive from each other, and Rose’s son still lives in Chicago, something that was “weighing very heavily” on him last season. It’s certainly a sad situation, and signing with the Bucks would put him closer to home.
But Rose also knows he’s running out of NBA teams that will sign him, at least for something that isn’t a biannual exception or the league minimum or some other small figure that he probably feels is insulting. Perhaps the Bucks are an exception because of his proximity.
It’s an unfortunate reality that the market has passed Rose by. Rose will certainly sign with some NBA team before the summer is up, but after making $21 million last season, his next contract might be for pennies on the dollar.