Injured Piston Rose sits against Grizzlies as trade deadline draws near

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Derrick Rose

Memphis, Tenn. — Maybe it's something; maybe it's nothing.

Derrick Rose’s name will be at the center of many trade rumors this week, ahead of Thursday's trade deadline, as the Pistons ponder whether to unload assets. His injury status might be a bigger issue, after he sustained a strained left adductor in Sunday’s game against the Denver Nuggets.

Rose didn’t travel and missed Monday’s matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies. His status for the remainder of the week, with Wednesday’s home game against the Phoenix Suns being the last game before the deadline, remains unclear.

The Pistons entered Monday’s game at 18-33 and were in 11th place in the East, but just four games out of the final playoff spot. They’re likely to try to move some of their expiring contracts and valuable veterans, including Rose, ahead of the deadline.

Rose, 31, is having one of the best seasons since his MVP year in 2011. Trade rumors have ramped up in the past two weeks and have included contending teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers as interested parties in helping bolster the roster for their playoff push.

More: Beard: Will Derrick Rose injury throw wrench into Pistons' trade plans?

After signing a two-year contract for $15 million last summer, Rose has been a consistent scorer and catalyst for the Pistons, playing in 44 of their 51 games. He’s well on pace to eclipse the 51 games he played with the Minnesota Timberwolves last season, before season-ending surgery.

Trade talkin'

In the midst of trade season, two new names have entered the rumor mill: Christian Wood and Svi Mykhailiuk.

“There’s no question; those two young men have grown. They’ve been consistent and they’re past the point of being new in the league now,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “We’ve all known that Svi can shoot the ball, but the most important thing now is that he’s playing defense.

“He’s getting his chest in there, guarding with his chest — not his hands — and he’s consistent with it. He’s very coachable, he listens and he’s a sponge. Christian has his ups and downs, but he is maturing as a young man and growing. Those two could be big pieces of our core going forward.”

Mykhailiuk has enjoyed a bigger role this season, but he didn’t play after being added to the injury list on Monday because of a hip issue.

Positive step

Sekou Doumbouya made an impression in his first game back after sitting out on Friday. He had 17 points on Sunday, all in the first half. Casey said it was a positive step forward for a rookie in an up-and-down first season. He was looking for something simple from Doumbouya.

“Play hard. It’s the thing that I think he forgot about (before Friday). We have do remind him; like most young kids, they go through it,” Casey said. “They think this is just jumping on a nice airplane, a nice hotel, having a buffet before and after the game and it’s not that.

“It’s about earning your stripes — that’s the issue as a coach you have to fight when everybody anoints you as the next coming and you know from your heart and experience that they’re not ready yet.”

Clearly, Doumbouya is part of the future for the Pistons, but his growing pains are going to be a learning experience for everyone. Casey is taking it as a learning opportunity and sees the road ahead for the rookie.

“There is no dog house; it’s just a teaching moment for him. It’s not going away and it’s not just him — it’s all the young guys, if they don’t compete and play the right way.

“The only way you learn in this league sometimes is to sit back and watch and understand that the only way I get out there is to earn it and play hard.”

Injury shuffles

Beyond Rose and Mykhailiuk, the Pistons were shorthanded because of injuries, with Markieff Morris (hip) joining Blake Griffin (knee), Luke Kennard (knees) and Khyri Thomas (foot) on the injury list.

That opened roster spots for two-way players Jordan Bone and Louis King to make the trip to Memphis as additional options, just in case.

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard