It is the contract push to end all contract pushes. And Derrick Rose can finally see the finish line.
For two seasons Rose has been focused on the Summer of 2017 when he hits the free agent market and gets to dive head-first into a pot of gold waiting for him.
You don’t think Rose is getting paid? Check out the contract Chandler Parsons received last summer. Or Tyler Johnson.
This is the new NBA where even the marginal and unproven players strike it rich.
Rose is a former MVP, who has demonstrated that at the very least he still has the explosiveness to get to the basket and finish at the rim. His mid range game is nearly flawless.
Rose converted 13 of 16 shots and scored 26 points in Wednesday’s loss in Milwaukee. What Rose didn’t do is attempt a single 3-pointer in 39 minutes. In fact, Rose has essentially removed shooting long jumpers from his game and has slipped defensively.
Instead, he’s just focusing on his strengths and says he’ll use the off season to rediscover his perimeter game.
“Like I I said, I’m building my game throughout my career now, where early on in the season I’m driving and I’m waiting to shoot the three ball,” Rose said. ” By me not shooting the three doesn’t mean I can’t adapt to the game. I still can find a way.”
During his MVP season in 2010-11, Rose attempted 385 threes in 81 games. In 56 games this season, he’s attempted just 58. Brandon Jennings, who served as Rose’s back up for 58 games before being released, attempted 200 3-pointers.
The question is whether Rose can rediscover this lost part of his game. In a 3-point shooting league, it is essential to have a point guard that is a threat behind the 3-point line. Stephen Curry is the extreme example while Chris Paul is an example of a player that has a well balanced game.
Rose used last summer to strengthen his core with the goal of remaining relatively healthy. There have been a few bumps in the road, including when Rose went AWOL.
He does not seem happy playing the triangle and he and Carmelo Anthony don’t seem to have great on court chemistry.
The losing is also wearing on him and he was nearly traded last month. But Rose, with five weeks left in this season, is satisfied that he’s showed potential suitors that he is healthy and productive.
Just don’t expect to see him shooting 3-pointers until next season at the earliest.
“I was talking to my trainer earlier,” Rose said. ” He’s the head trainer at UCLA. We were just talking about how I held up this year, putting in all that work in the offseason, making sure that I come in every day and dedicate my day to nothing but what he has me do on the field, off the feld, and all my workouts. I felt like I sacrificed the summer.”