For the cheap price of the veteran’s minimum ($2.1 million), the Cleveland Cavaliers have signed free agent point guard Derrick Rose to a one-year deal, per The Vertical’s Shams Charania.
On the same day that Koby Altman was officially named the Cavaliers’ general manager, he and Rose were together for much of Monday before the 28-year-old committed to sign with the wine and gold. He chose less money in Cleveland compared to signing with teams such as the Lakers, Bucks, and Clippers, among others.
The 2011 NBA MVP and three-time All-Star is coming off his best season since 2012, when he was forced to sit out the entire 2012-13 season after tearing his ACL during the 2012 postseason. Dealing with nagging knee injuries, he also missed much of the 2013-14 season as well.
During his first and only season with the New York Knicks last season, Rose averaged 18 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 47.1 percent from the floor and 21.7 percent from beyond the arc in 64 games (all starts). His season was cut short when he tore his meniscus on March 27. According to NBA.com’s lineup data, when he was on the court, the Knicks had a 107.3 offensive rating and 111.1 defensive rating. Those 111.1 points per 100 possessions would have landed the Knicks in the cellar of the NBA. When he was on the bench, New York had a 101.8 offensive rating and 106.1 defensive rating. Although his defensive rating seems to be a problem, keep in mind that he was on the Knicks, who struggled mightily and were in plenty of turmoil last season.
Staying healthy seems to be quite a problem for Rose, who has seemingly been forced to sit out part of every season due to an injury ever since tearing his ACL in 2012. Luckily for him, the Cavs will most likely not need him to play (or exert as much energy) as he has in every other season in his career.
Looking back, the Cavs began speaking with Derrick Rose about possibly signing him around one week ago. Although the news that Kyrie Irving asked for a trade hadn’t been revealed yet, Cleveland already knew of Irving’s request, which makes the whole Rose connection all come together.
Depending on who Cleveland would acquire in a possible deal that sent Irving to another team, Rose could quite possibly be the starting point guard for the Cavs this season. At the very worst, he will be the backup point guard.
If Rose does come off the bench, it will be new for him. Since coming to the NBA in 2008, the point guard has played in 511 games (regular season and playoffs), 510 of which he has started in. The only game he played in and did not start was during his rookie season in 2008-09.
Signing a one-year deal, the veteran point guard can prove that he still has plenty left in the tank. As long as he stays healthy and improves defensively, the 28-year-old could quite possibly position himself for a big payday next summer if he takes advantage of having LeBron James, learning from him both on the court and the way he prepares himself off the court.
In a prove-it season, the Cavs could have quite possibly just made the biggest steal in free agency by signing Rose for the veteran’s minimum. For what it’s worth, it will cost owner Dan Gilbert an additional $6.4 million in luxury tax.
Although he’s injury prone and has dealt with plenty of off the court issues, Rose for the veteran’s minimum is quite a great way for Altman to end his first official day on the job.