Former NBA MVP and free agent point guard Derrick Rose has agreed to a one year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Shams Charnia of the Vertical was the first to report the agreement while Chris Haynes of ESPN had the financial terms: $2.1 million (the veteran’s minimum). Rose will sign as early as Tuesday according to reports.
Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reported that Rose spent the day with the organization and they talked about how the team would get back to the NBA Finals without current point guard Kyrie Irving.
Rose played 64 games with the New York Knicks last season, his lone season there after being acquired from the Chicago Bulls in June of 2016. He averaged 18 points, 4.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds in 32.5 minutes per game. He shot 47% from the field, his highest shooting percentage since the 2009-2010 season.
He was a rising superstar in the league his first few seasons in the NBA. The first overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft out of Memphis, Rose averaged 16.8 points, 6.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds en route to being named Rookie of the Year, the first #1 pick to win the award since Lebron James in 2003.
In the 2010-2011 season, Rose led the Bulls to new heights. Chicago won 62 games, the most by the franchise since the Jordan era and with Rose leading the way averaging a career high 25 points along with 7.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds and a steal per game, he became the youngest MVP award winner in NBA history at just 22 years old.
After that season though, Rose’s career took a downward trend. While he had a strong regular season in 2011-2012, he tore his ACL in the opening game of the playoffs which forced him to miss the entire 2012-2013 season. He came back from it only to tear his meniscus ten games into the 2013-2014 season.
He came back in the 2014-2015 season but you could see that the MVP caliber player he once was isn’t there anymore. However, Cavs fans will remember this shot he hit against the Cavs in the second round of the 2015 playoffs.
Rose can still score though, you can go to YouTube and watch some his Knicks highlights and see he has some game left and he’s only 29 years old. He can still attack the rim and he can still put the ball in the basket as he’s averaged at least 16 points per game the last three seasons.
His defense has always been a question mark but it looked better with his former head coach in Tom Thibodeau. So his lack of defense will unfortunately fit in with Cleveland whose team defense was among the worst in basketball last season.
Why did he choose Cleveland?
Playing alongside Lebron has helped players NBA careers get made or resurrected. Guys like Timofey Mozgov, Matthew Dellavedova, JR Smith and Tristan Thompson are prime examples that playing next to the greatest basketball player ever can pay off on the court and when it comes to contract time.
If Rose can stay healthy and show he’s still an effective NBA player alongside Lebron, he’ll be looking at a nice contract when he hits the open market next summer.
He also wants to win. The closest he’s come to an NBA championship was in the 2010-2011 season when he led the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals when they eventually lost to the Miami Heat.
His other option was the Los Angeles Lakers which won’t be a contender for at least another year or two.
The Cavaliers are the dominant force in the Eastern Conference, winning it three years in a row and will be the favorite once again this coming season.
Rose is the projected starting point guard for the Cavaliers once they trade Kyrie Irving who requested to be traded a couple weeks ago but was reported by the media on Friday, one day after the Cavs were reportedly in “serious talks” with Rose.
He isn’t the long term point guard for the future of the organization but Derrick Rose isn’t a bad option to help lead the offense with Lebron for the 2017-2018 season.