A former MVP who averaged 18 points per game last season is going to be paid only $2.1 million in 2017-2018. Derrick Rose might not help the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he’s an incredible steal at this price.
Yeah, we get it. Rose, post who knows who many ACL, MCL and other knee injuries, isn’t the hottest commodity around. He’s not the type of point guards teams are looking for, not in his current state of capabilities, which to put it simply, isn’t what it was during his first four years in the league. He can still score, but teams, teams looking to win things, are looking for a different type of player, or at least the same kind but who does things better than Rose can right now.
And yes, it’s probably true that he and his agent looked around other options before signing with the Cavaliers, doing it with Kyrie Irving leaving in mind or perhaps as a way to add some depth to a bench that struggles putting up points on the board whenever LeBron James needs to rest. The headline the media is loving right now happens to be how Rose wanted the Spurs to sign him but they politely said no.
But the past doesn’t matter now, and whether or not Kyrie is traded to Miami, Phoenix or anywhere else. Having Rose on a one-year deal for a veteran’s minimum or just above it is something to be happy about. For a team sorely lacking in playmakers and guys who can score off the dribble without any help from someone else, signing the 2017 version of Rose is a success. Yes, it doesn’t open up other transfer options for the Cavs because they’re way over the salary cap anyway, deep in luxury tax hell, but to at least do this when there are so few options? Beyond all the memes of ambulances arriving in Cleveland, this makes the team better.
If Irving is indeed blocking Cavs calls to him (which I have to say is one of the most idiotic things I can think of athletes doing) and his days in Cleveland are numbered, a lot depends on what the Cavaliers take back for him. Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow? Eric Bledsoe and Josh Jackson? Andrew Wiggins and someone else? I’ll leave it to your imagination and trade machines.
But Rose is a given fact, and a good one at that. No, he’s not going to be the guy who led the Bulls two straight years to the best record in the NBA, but he’ll give them a dimension they didn’t have last season. Whether it’s good enough to maintain their spot on top of the East and topple the Golden State Warriors is something we’ll find out somewhere around April-May-June 2018.