While Derrick Rose’s decline from MVP has now seen him agree to a minimum deal, the Cleveland Cavaliers offer their most recent addition a chance at rebuilding his reputation.
The point guard is reportedly set to sign a veterans minimum salary of $2.1 million for one year during an uneasy time for Cleveland as the drama of Kyrie Irving’s recently reported trade request hangs above their heads.
Rose appears in line to potentially benefit from the disconnect, with the 28-year-old agreeing to the deal “after spending the day [with LeBron James], discussing how the team will return to the Finals without Kyrie Irving”, according to Cleveland.com, who also state that “James is eager to see [Irving] off”.
Despite Irving requesting a trade and providing the Cavaliers a list of four teams he would prefer to call his new home – San Antonio, Miami, New York and Minnesota – he’s still under contract until the summer of 2019 at the earliest, meaning Cleveland could keep him in the hopes of resolving any chemistry issues.
However, it’s sounding more and more like the Cavaliers are seriously planning on moving Irving, with Rose seemingly sold on the idea of being an impactful playmaker alongside James.
Rose had been in communication with James throughout the process leading up to signing with Cleveland, according to ESPN, and James welcomed his new team-mate by tweeting on Monday: “Let’s Rock G!!”.
James also took to Twitter yesterday to shoot down rumours surround him and Irving, including the aforementioned claim that he’s “eager” for Cleveland to trade the All-Star point guard.
James tweeted: “#NotFacts people! Boooo!!! Get another source” while quoting two SLAM Magazine articles referencing his unhappiness with Irving.
For Rose, the $2.1m contract pales in comparison to the five-year, $150m deal he was reportedly hoping for midway through this past season, according to ESPN back in January.
After taking a 90% salary cut, Derrick Rose is currently the 55th highest-paid point guard signed for next season. pic.twitter.com/tg8JpVLo8R— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 25, 2017
Though he had his best statistical season since 2011-12 last year with the Knicks, averaging 18.0 points, 4.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 47.1 per cent shooting, the Cavaliers offer an opportunity to play with better talent and in more meaningful games.
Rose doesn’t solve Cleveland’s defensive issues or offer much more than Irving does on that end of the floor, but his ability to drive and finish at the rim, while also being a capable passer to open spot-up shooters, should be an asset.
An adjustment period may be necessary, but the low-cost flyer the Cavaliers are taking on Rose could end up helping both sides.