Taken #1 overall in the 2008 draft by the Bulls, Derrick Rose came into the league with high expectations. And in the first three years of his career, it looked like he would not only meet those lofty expectations, but surpass them.
Rose led the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2010 and then was voted the MVP in the 2010-11 season. That year, he averaged 25 ppg, 7.7 apg, 4.1 rpg, 1 spg, and 1.6 3PTFGM, while shooting 45% from the field and 85% from the line. Numbers that made him a first round draft pick in fantasy drafts. And on top of those stats, Rose was averaging 80 games played in his first three seasons.
After the shortened post-lockout 2011-12 season, Rose tore the ACL in his left knee in the first round of the playoffs against the 76ers. Since then, Rose has not been the same player, spending large chunks of the last two seasons on the sidelines with multiple knee injuries.
Rose comes into this season with an orbital fracture, after being elbowed in the face in practice. He had successful surgery on September 30 and should be able to resume basketball activities in two weeks, a mere two weeks prior to the season opener on October 27.
He’s in the first week of recovery from the surgery, but is still dealing with swelling in his eye. Even if the swelling takes a little longer to heal than expected and he misses a few games to start the season, I’m not too concerned about this injury.
My main concern with Rose going into the season is with his knees, which just haven’t been the same since tearing the ACL in his left knee and having two surgeries on the meniscus in his right knee. The same explosiveness that he had in his first three years (Rose at his finest in the playoffs) is just not there anymore.
To be honest, the 51 games last year were more than I was expecting. His numbers were still solid (17.7 ppg, 4.9 apg, and 3.2 rpg), but pale in comparison to his earlier elite numbers.
The biggest red flags for me are his shooting numbers. He shot 40.5% from the field and 28% from the 3PT line last season, numbers that are lower than his career averages (45.2% FG% and 30.4% 3PT%). His free throw attempts have also declined from 6.9 in 2010-11 to 3.7 last season, while setting a career high in 3PT attempts (5.3 per game).
He’s just not attacking the basket the same way as he used to and is settling for more jump shots and 3-pointers. In the back of his head, he may be worrying too much about landing awkwardly and doesn’t want to put his body at risk as much. I don’t blame him for that, but his ability to get to the basket made him the elite player that he was and one of the top players to watch.
Since he’s not getting to the basket as much, his scoring and assist numbers have taken hits. Couple his changed play with the maturation of Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose just won’t be putting up the elite numbers he used to.
It looks like fantasy owners have started to notice that he’s just not the same player. This season, his Yahoo ADP is 69.8, after being a top 50 pick last season. If Rose falls into the 7th or 8th round of your draft, I think he’s worth the risk. He’s easily a top 50 player when he plays; we just don’t know how many games he’ll play.
For the right price, he’s worth drafting, but for me, I’ll be letting another owner worry about his injuries each night.