Derrick Rose won the 2011 NBA MVP trophy and is a 3-time All-Star. He has career averages of 20 points and 6 assists per game. Rose won’t even turn 28 years old until October.
How in the hell is this a fair question? In the words of rapper extraordinaire Roy Jones, “Y’all must have forgot.” Indulge me for a moment and click that link.
I would not be surprised if Derrick Rose is out of the NBA within 3-5 years. We’ve all been watching. First, there was the left ACL tear. Then, a right meniscus tear. Then, another right meniscus tear. Rose started this season with a fractured left orbital. He ended the season with a hyperextended left elbow. At this point, it seems appropriate to have DJ Khaled ad-lib while we collectively read through the list.
Derrick Rose’s injury history became a running joke within the sports media, which rarely has sympathy for multi-million dollar athletes.
However, the injuries aren’t my primary reason for believing Rose has become irrelevant. This has more to do with the recent point guard talent surplus across the NBA. It intensifies with every triple double by Russell Westbrook and every 35-footer that reigning league MVP, Steph Curry, knocks down so effortlessly.
The play of Derrick Rose over the 2015-16 season was forgettable. For those who care about analytics, Rose posted a player efficiency rating (PER) of 13.52, good enough for 44th among point guards. For additional perspective, this placed him in the immediate company of Gary Neal, Shane Larkin, and Tim Frazier. Now, you can call this a byproduct of the injuries and that would be conceivable.
But consider the aforementioned point guard talent surplus. In addition to the obvious top 2 at this position, there is also Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Kyle Lowry, John Wall, and Kemba Walker among so many other budding stars. The position is as deep as it has ever been in the history of the NBA. Don’t believe me, go look at the ones who did not make the 2016 All-Star game.
The point is, there is no room for Derrick Rose in this new regime. I surveyed the lineups of all 30 NBA teams and found a handful of teams in addition to the Chicago Bulls, that Rose could start for at point guard. Those were the Utah Jazz, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, and maybe the Brooklyn Nets. Of those teams, I don’t believe any of them would offer Rose a max contract, which is what he wants.
In a recent interview, Derrick Rose said, “I feel like I’m an All-Star right now.” And do not forget about this gem from the Bulls’ media day last September:
He believes that he is still MVP Derrick Rose, but reality paints a vastly different picture. And if he doesn’t return to form during the 2016-17 NBA season or accept a lesser role and less money, he may find himself on someone’s bench or looking for another career to secure his son’s future.