Finally! After long last, Derrick Rose has just punched his one-way ticket back to the Playoffs, after signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers! Rose agreed to a one year/$2.1 million contract on Monday, according to Brian Windhorst, and the new contract is definitely something different than what Rose is used to (Rose earned a lot more money previously when he signed his maximum contract back in 2012 with the Chicago Bulls).
The signing comes as no surprise to NBA fans, as Kyrie Irving recently requested a trade from the Cavaliers (and every team needs a point guard, right?), but does this signing guarantee Rose a starting spot alongside Lebron James and the rest of the talented roster? I know Derrick still shows flashes of greatness at times, but his injuries have definitely held him back, and there’s no guarantee that Irving will be on another team come next season. Still, I love this signing, because Derrick can finally be part of a winning team again.
Let’s look back on Rose’s last couple of seasons: In 2016, Rose and Butler fought to gain control of the Chicago Bulls throughout the entire season, eventually leading the team to a perfectly average 41-41 season (where they missed the Playoffs). Rose was then traded to the New York Knicks over the offseason, where his presence was expected to bring the Knicks back to the Playoffs. Unfortunately in 2017 (for the 2nd year in a row), Rose, alongside Anthony and Porzingis, were unable to make the Playoffs, finishing at 31-51. These two years of mediocrity and failure would lead Rose to search for a team that wanted to win, and now, we see Rose preparing to wear a Cavs uniform for the upcoming NBA season.
To me, Rose in a Cleveland uniform doesn’t make much sense. If you’re a true Derrick Rose fan (such as myself), then you can remember the days when Rose was nearing his peak and battling James and the Cavaliers. Even better, you can remember the great rivalry of Joakim Noah and Lebron James that always made the games between the two teams a lot more entertaining (the comments Noah made about Cleveland still make me laugh to this day). The point is, the history between the two players has always been bitter. They never had problems specifically with one another, but no one could have ever imagined the two teaming up together on a single team. It’ll take some time to get used to for a few people, but I’m very excited to see what Rose can accomplish now that he’s on a successful team again.
I think the best part of all of this is that Derrick has the chance to really improve his game alongside James. We’ve seen how much Irving grew as a point guard once Lebron joined the Cavs back in 2014, and I think we can see the same from Rose (as long as he doesn’t get hurt again). Derrick continues to persevere every season, as well as being a reliable player in late game situations (when he’s healthy). Although, I think it was smart for the Cavs to solely offer him the veterans minimum salary, as I believe it’ll make him work even harder to prove the front office wrong and show he can still be an athletic guard. This offseason continues to get crazier everyday, and now that Rose has a new home in Cleveland, Ohio, nothing will surprise me. Rose could very well be in the Finals come next June, and he may even get that ring he so desperately craves.