Derrick Rose has signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who now have a possible replacement for Kyrie Irving.
Rose is getting a one-year, $2.1 million contract from the Cavaliers. The free agent gives Cleveland a proven player to handle point-guard duties if it chooses to trade Irving. Irving recently told the team he wants to be traded despite making it to three straight NBA Finals.
The 28-year-old Rose now has a chance to compete for a championship alongside LeBron James, a fellow former league MVP.
A three-time All-Star and the 2011 MVP, Rose averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists last season while shooting 48 per cent from the field with New York. Although he has been injury prone, Rose played in 64 games for the Knicks and in 181 over the past three seasons.
Rose has averaged 19.5 points and 6 assists in eight seasons as a pro.
Irving’s demands complicate things
Irving’s demands have complicated things for the defending Eastern Conference champions, who were beaten by Golden State in the Finals. They’ll certainly find interest in Irving, but it may be challenging to find comparable talent in return.
That’s where Rose comes in. If healthy, Rose is a dynamic scorer capable of taking over a game, and paired with LeBron James, he could be even more dangerous.
Cleveland star LeBron James seemed to confirm the report with a tweet on Monday night.
🌹 🌹 🌹🌹🌹 Let’s Rock G!!
Rose drew interest from other teams. He met with Cleveland’s front office on Monday, when the team promoted Koby Altman to be its full-time general manger after he served as the interim GM since mid-June.
Rose just completed his eighth since being drafted first overall by Chicago in 2008. He was named the league’s MVP in 2011 while with the Bulls. Rose sat out the entire 2012-13 season following knee surgery.
Because the Cavaliers are so far over the salary cap, they could only offer Rose a one-year deal. But the possibility of playing alongside James, who can become a free agent next summer, and to contend for a title will offset any financial concerns for Rose.