How long does Derrick Rose need to play at his present level in order to reach the Hall of Fame? At 22 years old, it seems absurd to call anyone a lock for the Hall of Fame, but Derrick Rose may have already more or less cinched it.
Every eligible MVP in the history of the NBA is in the Hall of Fame. Every non eligible MVP, excluding Rose for the moment, is considered a lock for the Hall of Fame with the weakest possibilities being Iverson and Steve Nash, but I think even they are locks.
That leaves Derrick Rose.
As the youngest MVP in the history of the league, his feat in winning it is even more special than the others. However, one of the reasons players so rarely win an MVP this young is because they don't want to give the award to someone who flames out and doesn't prove it over the long haul.
Derrick Rose might be the first MVP winner in awhile to not already be a lock or near lock for the Hall of Fame at the point he won the award. Obviously not because he isn't good enough, but simply because he hasn't been good enough for long enough.
If Rose decided the loss to the Heat hurt to much and quit basketball tomorrow, he's not getting into the Hall of Fame.
Which begs the question, how much longer does Derrick need to play at an elite level in order to lock himself into the Hall of Fame. It got me to thinking about one of his contemporaries.
If Chris Paul's career ends tomorrow is he a Hall of Famer? Six years in the league, two at a ridiculously elite level, then an injury knocked him down and he came back and played at a very high level [still top 10 in the NBA]. I'd say Paul is borderline if he hung up his shows tomorrow, but his two best seasons were better than Rose's MVP season despite not winning the award.
Overall, looking at all-star appearances as a guide, only guys with seven or more are basically complete locks [with a couple exceptions], while guys with five or more are closer to 50/50. With Derrick being a pure alpha dog all-star as the clearly best player on his team, he probably needs to hit only the low end of the mark there.
Thus, I'm giving Rose three more seasons as this current level of play to prove his Hall of Fame credentials.
Either way, it's great to know as a Bulls fan that [baring injury] we have Derrick Rose to watch for the next decade or so and will never be more than a piece and a half away from winning an NBA title over that stretch.