Much was made about the Los Angeles Lakers not making a trade at the deadline to improve the depth of the roster. It doesn’t seem like it was due to a lack of trying.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers targeted Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Rose in the trade market but were rejected by Detroit:
Meanwhile, sources say the Lakers offered a package involving Alex Caruso and draft compensation for Derrick Rose, which was rejected as the Pistons had set a high value on the former NBA MVP.
Before a recent injury, Rose had been having one of the better seasons of the later portions of his career. The former MVP is a strong scorer off the bench and can playmake some, leading to a lot of speculation that the Lakers could pursue him.
That said, the Lakers may have caught a break. Rose admittedly would have fixed a major issue as the Lakers’ guards have struggled to make plays when LeBron James sits. But Caruso has become an invaluable part of the team and one could argue the difference between his and Rose’s defensive impact is more significant than the offensive difference, not to mention the injury risk that Rose comes with.
The Lakers managed to make some other moves after the deadline, adding Rose’s Pistons teammate Markieff Morris as well as Dion Waiters through the buyout market.
We may never know what the Lakers would have looked like with Rose on the roster but there is an argument to be made that Caruso is the better fit both in the near-term and for the future.