Free agent point guard Derrick Rose and the Milwaukee Bucks have mutual interest, head coach Jason Kidd said in an interview with Lance Allan of TODAY'S TMJ4. Watch his full interview above.
— Lance Allan (@lanceallan) July 14, 2017
According to ESPN's Chris Haynes , Rose and the Bucks could meet for the second time in the free agent period this weekend. Rose averaged 18.0 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.8 rebounds in his lone season with the New York Knicks last year. Rose spent his previous seven seasons with the Chicago Bulls, where he took home the 2011 MVP award.
There appear to be several obstacles preventing Rose from joining Milwaukee. Milwaukee is currently over the luxury tax line, and would likely have to make a trade in order to squeeze Rose onto the roster.
Guard Matthew Dellavedova, and big men John Henson and Mirza Teletovic are all trade possibilities - together, they soak up over 26 percent of the Bucks' cap, yet provided just 20.8 points per game between the three of them last season. It is unclear if the Bucks will be able to move one of their salaries, with many teams across the league facing luxury tax penalties.
Beyond the salary math, Rose's fit on the floor is also murky. Head coach Jason Kidd clearly wants the ball in Giannis Antetokounmpo's hands, which means Rose would be limited to an off-ball position.
Simply put, Rose is not a good off-ball option. He shot an abysmal 25 percent on catch-and-shoot opportunities in 2016-17, one of the worst rates in the league among guards ( according to NBA.com ).
Rose can still be effective when driving to the basket. He was 11th in the league last season in drives per game (10.0), which resulted in 8.2 points per contest (fourth in the NBA). He still has some gas in the tank at 28 years old, despite the lengthy history of knee injuries.
The only problem with Rose's slashing is that is exactly what Antetokounmpo wants to do on offense. The Greek Freak was right behind Rose in driving statistics. The Bucks do not need two high-usage players who attack the paint and limit spacing.
The ideal point guard next to Antetokounmpo is a good defender (which Rose is not) who can hit spot-up three-pointers (which Rose cannot do). The Bucks thought they were getting that type of player when they signed Dellavedova last season; but he slumped from beyond the arc and the team had a minus 1.2 point differential with Delly on the floor.
However, the Bucks may have stumbled into that player by drafting Malcolm Brogdon in the second round. The UVA alum knocked down over 40 percent of his treys last year, and was a net positive for Milwaukee when he was on the court. He topped off his surprise season with the Rookie of the Year award.
With Brogdon in the fold, there is no reason to reach for Rose this summer. Rose is the antithesis of everything Milwaukee has done in surrounding Antetokounmpo with young, athletic shooters. The Bucks have almost reached the mountaintop of the rebuild - do not throw it all away for a post-prime ball hog.