Posted on July 25, 2017, by Travis Pulver
It has not been the kind of summer that the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to want to repeat anytime soon. The drama in the front office alone would be enough. Tack on the uncertain direction of the franchise, the inability to find LeBron James some help, that unfortunate and ill-advised sign, and Kyrie Irving’s trade request and it becomes a nightmare scenario.
But then the team announced on Monday that former MVP Derrick Rose would be joining the team. So, maybe there is hope after all?
If it were 2011 the answer would be an emphatic ‘heck yeah!’ That was when Rose was good enough to wrangle the league MVP away from James. A few years and a couple of knee injuries later, however, and it is safe to say he isn’t that guy anymore.
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The Cavaliers know this, of course, which is probably why he is on a one-year, $2.1 million ‘prove it’ deal. Show he deserves more, and they’ll pay him more next year— or someone else will.
He wasn’t bad last season. In 64 games for the New York Knicks, he averaged 18 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.8 rebounds. It was his most productive year since the 2011-12 season when he played in just 39 games due to injuries (21.8 points/7.9 assists/3.4 rebounds).
It’s a low-risk, high-reward kind of deal for the Cavaliers, and possibly a little prophetic in nature as well.
Derrick Rose is a point guard. Kyrie Irving is a point guard. Does this mean the team could seriously be trying to honor Irving’s trade request?
The Cavs front office must hate the idea of giving him up, but they could easily demand a boatload of prospects and draft picks for him. With the possibility James may leave in the near future, an infusion of young talent and a handful of draft picks could help the team reload.
Irving is already one of the best point guards in the game, and he’s only 25. So, yeah—they can demand a ton in trade for him if they want to.
But if they let him go, they need someone that can step in and pick up the slack. The old Derrick Rose could do it easily. Can the current edition of him? Maybe. Maybe not. After tearing the meniscus in his left knee, he had to have knee surgery again.
His health shouldn’t be an issue though since he had to pass a physical before the Cavs would agree to sign him.
It will be interesting to see if Rose can recapture some of that old magic he had back in his early days in Chicago. James has helped a lot of guys look better than they are over the years. Maybe with his help, Rose can become that guy again.
If the Cavs don’t end up trading Irving, signing Rose gives them some much-needed depth. Could he be enough to put the Cavaliers on par with the Golden State Warriors? Probably not—but he would certainly help make things more interesting.