The long and winding basketball odyssey of Derrick Rose took its latest turn on Monday when he agreed to a one-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to a person with direct knowledge of the agreement. The deal is worth $2.1 million, according to the person, who requested anonymity because it had not yet been announced.
Rose, a former N.B.A. most valuable player whose career has been hobbled by chronic knee injuries, found that the market for his services in free agency was not particularly robust. But after speaking with several teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Rose found a landing spot with the Cavaliers, who are in some disarray after Kyrie Irving recently requested a trade from the team.
In a low-risk, low-cost move, the Cavaliers bought themselves experience, depth and scoring by adding Rose, 28. The question is whether he can stay healthy. Rose has had four knee operations in the last six years, his latest in April after he sustained a torn meniscus in his left knee while playing for the Knicks.
The Cavaliers sought Rose after Irving, their starting point guard, informed them that he wanted out of Cleveland after having spent the first six seasons of his career with the team.
It was a stunning development. Alongside LeBron James, Irving had led the Cavaliers to three straight appearances in the N.B.A. finals. In 2016, he helped deliver the franchise’s first championship. But he appears eager to escape James’s colossal shadow, even if it leads to the eventual dissolution of one of the league’s top teams.
It remains to be seen how the Cavaliers will handle Irving’s request — he has two guaranteed years remaining on his contract — but the acquisition of Rose at least gives them some insurance in the backcourt.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 N.B.A. draft, Rose was once the game’s most dynamic playmaker. During the 2010-11 season, he averaged 25 points, 7.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds, and he towed the Chicago Bulls to the Eastern Conference finals. He also became the youngest player to win the league’s M.V.P. Award, at 22.
But in the first round of the 2012 playoffs, Rose suffered his first major setback when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He missed the following season as a result of the injury. In November 2013, he tore the meniscus in his right knee and missed the rest of that season. He sustained the same injury in February 2015.
Before last season, the Knicks acquired Rose in a trade with the Bulls. Rose appeared to have high hopes, going so far as to describe the Knicks as a “superteam.” But that was before he had even appeared in uniform for them. His time in New York would prove to be largely disappointing, marred by off-court distractions, many losses and more injury woes.
Rose missed several weeks of training camp when he was a defendant in a civil trial in which he and two friends were accused of sexual assault. A jury cleared Rose of any wrongdoing.
But Rose’s absence at the start of the season seemed to hinder his adjustment to a new team — and to the triangle offense, which made him openly yearn for the days when he ran pick-and-rolls with the Bulls. He had moments when he showed glimpses of his former, more explosive self. For the season, he averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists a game while shooting 47.1 percent from the field — his best statistical season in years.
But in January, he skipped a game at Madison Square Garden without telling anyone from the team, causing concern and confusion. At the time, the Knicks were already drifting out of playoff contention. The team fined Rose but did not suspend him.
Rose missed the final eight games of the season with his latest knee injury, and the Knicks finished tied for the sixth-worst record in the league at 31-51.
The Knicks, who are flush against the league’s salary cap, are still searching for a veteran to mentor Frank Ntilikina, the 18-year-old point guard whom they selected with the eighth overall pick in last month’s draft. One could potentially come via a trade involving Carmelo Anthony, who — much like Irving — wants a new home.
Published at Mon, 24 Jul 2017 23:59:13 +0000