Eight years ago, Derrick Rose sat atop the NBA world.

The youngest MVP in NBA history (22 years old), Rose was off to the most promising career the league had ever seen.

Then came the injuries.

Throughout the 2011-12 season, Rose sat out with several nagging injuries that eventually cost him 43 games and the Bulls were defeated by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round. And in this first-round matchup, Rose tears his ACL. An injury that will cost him the entirety of the 2012-13 season. Yet, hope still existed and wasn’t too wavered considering he had already missed a season and a half at just 24 years old. But with a meniscus tear just 10 games into the season, Rose (for the third straight year) would miss at least half of the season.

At this point, nearly all hope was gone. Rose would linger around in Chicago for two more seasons but his game never felt the same. The explosiveness and aggressiveness when attacking the basket just weren’t there. He was eventually traded to the New York Knicks in the summer of 2016 where he had a one season stint before signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. His season with the Knicks was actually fairly solid but his half season with the Cavaliers went nothing as planned and he found himself in Minnesota by late March.

And that’s where he resides today. A member of a Timberwolves team that is fighting for a coveted western conference playoff spot. And for the first time in years, Rose is a vital factor for the Timberwolves success. Currently averaging 18.5 points per game on 48.5% shooting from the field and 47% from behind the arc, Rose is having the most efficient season since his 2011 MVP campaign. And oh yeah, he’s producing these numbers in a bench role, averaging less than 30 minutes per game.

So I know what you’re thinking. “One good year in eight seasons is nowhere near Hall of Fame worthy.” But we also have to remember some very important factors:

  • The Basketball Hall of Fame is not nearly as competitive as other sports’ Hall of Fame’s.
  • No NBA MVP has ever not made the Hall of Fame.

And for the longest time, people thought Rose would be the MVP to not make the Hall of Fame. However, Bill Walton (the closest comparison to Roses situation) is in the Hall of Fame despite playing just nine seasons. And for four of those nine seasons, he was inactive for over half the season. And the reason he is immortalized in Basketball history is that in 1978, he won MVP. Then, in 1986, nearly a decade later, he won Sixth Man of The Year. And yes, he is also a two-time NBA championship and made a few All-Defensive teams, but his career averages only read 13.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game on 52% shooting from the field. Players such as Nikola Vucevic have much better career averages. Yet, Vucevic is never going to the Hall of Fame.

Having that MVP is much more important than people think. As we saw with Walton if a player with an MVP is able to put together a few other solid seasons and has a solid repertoire of accolades, they are basically a lock for the Hall of Fame. So if Rose, a 1x MVP, 3x all-star, 2009 Rookie of The Year, 2011 All-NBA member is able to turn this season into either another all-star selection and/or a Sixth Man of The Year award, the committee will have no chance but to induct him into the Hall of Fame.

And honestly, in my mind, Rose currently leads the Sixth Man of The Year race. No other sixth man is averaging over 18 points per game while shooting as efficiently as Rose is. So even if Rose for whatever reason decides to retire after this season and wins Sixth Man of The Year, here would be his final resume:

19.9 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game, 5.7 assists per game, 45.2 FG%, 31 FG3%

1x MVP, 3x All-Star, 1x All-NBA, 2009 Rookie of The Year, 2019 Sixth Man of The Year

With how lenient the Basketball Hall of Fame is, Derrick Rose would be a clear-cut Hall of Famer.

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