Portland Trail Blazers: Best 3 players to target with the MLE in free agency

Nicolas Batum, CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers, Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Nicolas Batum, CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers, Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Derrick Rose, Portland Trail Blazers, Detroit Pistons
Derrick Rose, Portland Trail Blazers, Detroit Pistons (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Trail Blazers should target former star point guard Derrick Rose in free agency

Another glaring need for the Blazers is a backup playmaker. While Anfernee Simons may be a young star in the making, his future is as a shoot-first scoring guard.

Who better to bring in to supply playmaking than former superstar point guard Derrick Rose?

DRose has had one of the most incredible careers in league history. Everything about his story, from becoming the youngest MVP in the history of the NBA, to his multiple career-threatening injuries, to now reinventing himself as one of the best offensive sparkplugs off the bench, seems straight out of a movie.

While Rose won’t be putting people on posters again, it’s not implausible to say that his game is more well-rounded now than it was when he was giving Chicago Bulls fans Michael Jordan flashbacks.

Since initially accepting a bench role with the Minnesota Timberwolves back in 2018-2019, Derrick Rose has averaged an astounding 23 points and 6.4 assists per 36-minutes while slashing 48/35/86.

Rose still has plenty left to offer, proven in this year’s first-round series between his New York Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks, in which Rose led his team in both points and assists per game.

One of the most underrated aspects of Rose’s game is his playmaking. His sheer ability to get to the rim whenever he wants will create a lot of open looks for deep shooters, but on top of that, he can thread passes with the best of them.

Be mindful not to drop your jaws on anything too important as you watch DRose masterfully execute this pick-and-roll. As Rose comes around this Taj Gibson screen, he holds John Collins hostage with a slight hesitation, threatening to pull up for a middy or floater. This opens up the lane for Gibson to slide into the restricted area.

Bogdan Bogdanovic spies Taj creeping to the rim though and positions himself equally between the rolling big and RJ Barrett. DRose picks up on this and uses his eyes to hold Bogdanovic in no man’s land allowing Taj to slip by before finding him for an easy two.

There’s simply no player aside from Damian Lillard who could make this play on the Blazers roster. DRose is certainly worth more than $5 million even at this point in his career and many contenders will be lining up to add his services to their bench this summer. At 32 years old though, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Derrick take a pay cut to land in the ideal situation.

Rose knows his worth and wants to be a key piece towards a title. I believe that he’d much rather put a team into the title conversation rather than take a team that was already in it over the top. It’s a bit of a longshot, but there’s a chance that Portland could create the best point guard rotation in the league this offseason.