NBA

Derrick Rose on the Cleveland Cavaliers wouldn't be as bad as it sounds

Jay Asser 21/07/2017
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Kiss from a Rose: Derrick Rose. Picture: Getty Images.

Derrick Rose isn’t the answer the Cleveland Cavaliers were hoping for this summer, but the potential move may pay off.

The free agent point guard could be close to joining the defending Eastern Conference champions on a one-year minimum contract, according to reports.

While Rose wouldn’t put the Cavaliers much closer to beating the Golden State Warriors in a Finals rematch, the addition of the former MVP at the reported price point of $2.1 million, along with situation he’d come into, make him a risk worth taking.

And there’s certainly risk with Rose.

Even just limiting his baggage to the on-the-court variety, Rose’s game hasn’t aged well in the modern game. Sure, his injuries have played a part in that, but his singular, isolation style doesn’t mesh well in an offence that hopes to achieve ball movement.

His box score stats in his lone season with the New York Knicks actually look good – 18.0 points, 4.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 47.1 per cent shooting. But stats alone don’t show how often he hijacked the offence, leading to less opportunities and development for Kristaps Porzingis.

And while his scoring mark was his best since 2011-12, his 3-point shooting percentage of 21.7 was a career low. Rose thankfully stopped taking as many 3s, limiting his attempts to less than one per game, but there’s no getting around his lack of outside shooting and inability to play off-ball.

That said, $2.1m on a one-year deal is tremendous value for a player of Rose’s calibre, especially in a market where the salary cap came in lower than projected and more teams are strapped for cash.

Does he solve the Cavaliers’ main problems of defence and a dearth of two-way players? No. But there’s little to lose here for Cleveland.

Keep in mind the Cavaliers have very scarce wiggle room to manoeuvre as far as player transactions. They’re deep into the luxury tax as it is, while the Paul George and Carmelo Anthony scenarios haven’t come to fruition.

Cleveland have to improve the roster as much as possible and adding Rose would accomplish that, even if it’s an incremental improvement.

Key to the move, however, is Rose’s role and his acceptance of it.

According to ESPN’s report, the Cavaliers are offering Roes a deal “to play with Kyrie Irving in the team’s backcourt”. That sounds like a starting spot in J.R. Smith’s place, which doesn’t make much sense.

Ideally, Rose would be deployed in the second unit, either in conjunction with Deron Williams or in his place as the back-up ball-handler. His penchant to get to the rim would work well when surrounded by shooters like Kyle Korver and Channing Frye.

There’s always the chance Rose feels unhappy with his minutes and lack of floor time to close out games, but that’s where having LeBron James and an established veteran core should help neutralise any chemistry issues.

It’s not a star and it’s not going to threaten the Warriors, but Rose makes the Cavaliers a little better and in an offseason in which they’ve done nothing, it’s something.

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Golden State's Kevin Durant is all set for India visit

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Promoting the game: Kevin Durant.

NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant will visit India next week, hosting a clinic for 5,000 children, donating two basketball courts to a school and instructing top youth players.

Durant sparked the Golden State Warriors to their second NBA crown in three seasons last month. The 28-year-old star forward won his first NBA crown in his first season after leaving Oklahoma City for the Warriors.

“I’m excited to travel to India to help promote the game of basketball and meet the prospects at the NBA Academy India,” Durant said. “I’ve wanted to visit India for a long time and I can’t wait to experience the country’s unique culture and share my knowledge with the kids there.”

Durant, who also helped the US Olympic team capture gold in 2012 at London and last year in Rio, will travel to New Delhi next Thursday.

He will donate two courts to the Ramjas School as part of his charity foundation’s court renovation program, then visit the NBA Academy India in Noida, becoming the first active NBA player to appear at the school, where he will provide a master class in shooting, passing, dribbling and defensive drills.

Later at the academy, Durant will lead a larger-scale clinic for 5,000 youth, 1,000 in the facility and 4,000 other boys and girls through a satellite link from locations in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

“We’re thrilled to host 2017 Finals MVP Kevin Durant in India,” NBA India managing director Yannick Colaco said. “Having one of the very best players in our league interact with the basketball playing youth of India will serve as great inspiration to the next generation of players here.”

Durant, an eight-time NBA All-Star and the 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player, averaged 25.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.6 blocked shots and 1.1 steals a game last season for the Warriors.

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NBA outfit Boston Celtics sign Egyptian-born rookie Abdel Nader

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Abdel Nader

The Boston Celtics have announced they have signed the Egyptian-born rookie forward Abdel Nader.

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Nader (6-6, 230 lbs.) became the first internationally-born player to be named Rookie of the Year in the G League. He becomes the first Egyptian to play for the Celtics since Alaa Abdelnaby.

The 2016-17 G League All-Star scored at least 30 points in five contests, including a 32-point, 10-rebound, 8-assist game against the Long Island Nets on Jan. 6.

Nader, the reigning 2016-17 NBA G League Rookie of the Year, averaged a team-high 21.3 points (44.7% FG, 34.9% 3-PT, 79.4% FT), 6.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.00 steal, 0.83 blocked shots and 33.5 minutes over 40 games with the Maine Red Claws in his first professional season.

The 23-year-old was originally selected by Boston in the second round (58th overall) of the 2016 NBA Draft.

The Celtics also announced they have waived guard Demetrius Jackson.

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