With all of the controversy whirling around the status of Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the wine and gold added another point guard in former NBA MVP Derrick Rose, inking him to a one year deal.
Rose is trying to rebuild his career after being traded a year ago by the Chicago Bulls to the Knicks (ironically, Jose Calderon was in the deal), and suffering through a multitude of knee injuries.
However, it was just two years ago, in the 2015 playoffs, that Rose hit a game winning three point shot to give the Bulls a two game to one lead over the Cavs.
Rose did average 18 points per game last season, his highest total since 2011-12, when he scored 21.2 for Chicago. He also shot 47.1% from the floor, the best since his second year of his career, the 2009-10 season.
He ranked second in the league in points in the paint for guards last season, and his shooting percentage improved because he basically stopped taking three point shots.
Our concern with Rose has never his ability, it is his ego.
We feel the problems he had in Chicago came after his injury, when Rose still thought he was the Bulls’ best player, when it clearly had become Jimmy Butler.
And last season, he referred to the Knicks as a “super team”, greatly over estimating that team, which failed to make the playoffs.
That won’t be an issue in Cleveland, where everyone knows who the alpha dog is.
The other concern is his injury history. Although he has played more than 60 games over the last two seasons, you cannot forget he played in just 100 games over a four year period (2011-12 through 2014-15, missing the entire 2012-13 season)
As for Rose’s role, we expect him to be used as a combo guard, perhaps starting beside however the Cavaliers acquire for Kyrie Irving, if they indeed trade him (and we believe they will), and run the offense when James is resting.
He can create his own shot which is something Cleveland lacks, as only James and Irving can do that presently, and no one on the bench is capable of doing it either.
As for the naysayers on this move, remember that the Cavs are only paying Rose the veteran minimum, a little over $2 million per year, a small amount in today’s NBA.
It’s a chance for Rose to get back to playing on a winning team, a squad that has a chance to go deep into the playoffs, and perhaps another trip to The Finals, which would be the veteran’s first trip.
Also, it again was reported that James did reach out to Rose about signing here, again ruining the national narrative that he is not recruiting for the wine and gold this summer.
Even with everything going on with the franchise and that Irving has asked out here, this is a good signing for the Cavs. We aren’t saying this makes Cleveland the favorite to beat Golden State, but it does make the team better.
That’s all you can ask for at this point.
If James and Irving reconcile, then Rose adds another player who can put pressure on the defense by driving to the basket. If Irving leaves, he would be more of a factor as a facilitator when James is not in the game.
All in all, this is a positive more for the Cavaliers.