The Los Angeles Lakers were connected to a handful of names leading up to the 2020 NBA Trade Deadline, but were really only connected to one player as the rumors were heating up hours, even minutes before the deadline. That player was Marcus Morris, who eventually was traded from the New York Knicks to the Los Angeles Clippers as the rumors seemed to show that the Knicks were asking quite a bit from the Lakers (coincidentally enough the Lakers have recently signed Marcus’ brother Markieff to the roster).
Fans were left wondering what happened to the other players that the Lakers were connected to in the weeks leading up to the deadline, including the Detroit Pistons’ Derrick Rose. The Lakers were reported to be interested in Rose along with other contenders, as teams were looking to pull Rose out of Detroit to add a quality bench scorer for a playoff run. Another report has come out from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on the most recent episode of his Hoop Collective podcast, saying that the Lakers never had a prayer (h/t Reddit user Nyhrox and their comment here).
“When the Lakers called the Pistons and expressed an interest in trading for Derrick Rose, the Pistons said ‘Hey, we appreciate you calling, but we’re not trading him. Dwane Casey likes him. We think he’s going to be important for us next year.’ He just wasn’t available”
The Lakers could have secured Derrick Rose as he’s currently on a pretty good value contract, as he would be under contract for the 2020-21 season at only $7.5 million for the year. Still, you never know what the Pistons would have required for Rose’s services. In addition, Rose has some extreme injury history concerns, as well as being known in the last couple of years for nagging injuries here and there.
The trade probably would have required at least Kyle Kuzma, but it would have definitely given the Lakers a scoring boost as they really don’t have a player like Rose coming off their bench. Either way, the Lakers never really had a chance, so we don’t have to wonder too much what could have been.