Is Derek Rose a Starting Quality Point Guard?

Around half way into this season, I’d seen enough and declared that Chicago’s problems stemmed largely from giving Derek Rose 32 minutes a game:

While it’s terribly sad to say, the fact is that nothing even remotely close to ‘MVP Derek Rose’, let alone ‘competent starting point guard Derek Rose’ is ever coming back. Just ask Penny Hardaway. While it’s not all Rose’s fault, the sooner they move him aside – and get cranking with Jimmytime – the better the team will be. 

As is generally the case, I armed myself with some hard numbers:

What if I told you that you couldn’t win anything serious with a starting point guard guard who:

  • shoots 41.4% from the field;
  • has a true shooting percentage of 46.5% (ranked 67th out of 74 point guards);
  • consumes 26% of your team’s possessions when on the court;
  • assists on 19.1% of his possessions (ranked 62nd among point guards)
  • has a PER of 12.2 (ranked 57th among point guards); and
  • delivers the above stink for 32 minutes a game while running around with a generally disinterested and sorry look on his face?

To be fair to Rose, his numbers did improve slightly in the second half of the season, such that he was ranked 44th among point guards in PER (13.52). His true shooting percentage also improved to 47.9% (i.e. from 67th to 66th out of 74 point guards – or, in other words, from rancid to putrid).

Now you would think that I couldn’t possibly make a bigger scapegoat of Rose. You’d be wrong. I’m doubling down with a list of point guards who I would definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, rather have starting for my team:

  • Russell Westbrook
  • Chris Paul
  • Damian Lillard
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Kyle Lowry
  • John Wall
  • Isiah Thomas
  • Eric Bledsoe (assuming he’s healthy)
  • Mike Conley
  • Kemba Walker
  • Reggie Jackson
  • Goran Dragic
  • Jrue Holiday
  • Jeff Teague
  • Ricky Rubio
  • Tony Parker
  • Dennis Schroder
  • George Hill (yes, his PER was around the same, but he only needed to use 15% of his team’s possessions to achieve this and plays far better defence)
  • Avery Bradley
  • Brandon Knight (even though he did stink pretty badly this season)
  • And, I suppose, Steph Curry

That’s 21 clear-cut, better point guards.

For good measure, here’s list of point guards you could swap for Derek Rose and probably not notice any real difference (other than a healthy increase in cap space):

  • Jordan Clarkson
  • Elfrid Payton
  • D’Angelo Russell
  • Deron Williams
  • Jeremy Lin
  • Rajon Rondo
  • Mario Chalmers
  • Ramon Sessions
  • Darren Collison
  • Patty Mills
  • Toney Douglas
  • Michael Carter-Williams
  • Shaun Livingston
  • Jarett Jack
  • Zach LaVine
  • DJ Augustin
  • Brandon Jennings
  • Donald Sloan
  • Trey Burke
  • Shelvin Mack

Now you tell me, is Derek Rose a starting quality point guard – let alone one a contender should be giving 32 minutes a game to?

Unless and until Chicago exorcises the ghosts of Derek Rose’s past, it will not be going anywhere fast.

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