Coming Up Rose(s)

Three-Time All-Star and Former MVP Inks Free Agent Deal with Cavs

Less than six weeks ago, the Wine & Gold fell to the Warriors in the 2017 Finals. And the Cavaliers’ offseason has been locked in high gear ever since.

On Tuesday afternoon – one day after Koby Altman was officially named the team’s new General Manager – the Cavs inked three-time All-Star and former MVP, Derrick Rose, to a free agent deal.

And while the additions of Jose Calderon, Jeff Green and Cedi Osman were definite upgrades to the Eastern Conference Champs, the signing of Rose is on an entirely different level.

Rose, who joins another former MVP in LeBron James, won the league’s top individual award following the 2010-11 season. (He and James are two of only five winners since 2008.) His last All-Star appearance was the 2012 midseason classic.

Rose has battled various knee issues after injuring his MCL in the 2012 postseason and was limited to just 10 games in 2013-14. But he’s increased his game load every season since – starting 64 games for New York last season and averaging 18.0 points per, his highest scoring mark since 2011-12.

Taken with the No. 1 overall pick out of Memphis in the 2008 Draft, Rose has posted career averages of 19.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 470 regular season contests.
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

In his single season in the Big Apple, Rose notched double-figures in 61 of his 64 appearances, topping the 20-point plateau on 24 occasions.

Last season’s experiment didn’t pan out the way Phil Jackson had planned, with the Knicks winning just 31 games and missing the postseason for the fourth straight season.

With Cleveland, Rose – who drilled the game-winning bomb that gave Chicago a 2-1 series edge and nearly derailed the Cavs’ Playoff hopes in 2015 – has the opportunity to not only return to the tournament, but can realistically compete for the NBA title.

”I have a single focus and purpose of wanting to play to win,” explained the 28-year-old Chicago native. “Being part of a roster and organization that shares that type of commitment and being able to play with the Cavaliers and compete for a championship is the only thing that matters for me. I am very happy to be in Cleveland and look forward to getting to work.”

Taken with the No. 1 overall pick out of Memphis in the 2008 Draft, Rose has posted career averages of 19.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 470 regular season contests. Rose has also appeared in 41 Playoff games – averaging 23.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.1 assists.

The eight-year vet was the 2009 Rookie of the Year, was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star squad in the 2010, ’11 and ’12 seasons and captured the gold medal with Team USA in the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Cup.

“Derrick could have gone to a number of other teams, but his specific mindset, goals and total focus and commitment to winning are what resulted in him signing with the Cavaliers,” praised Altman in his first official move as Cleveland’s top personnel man. “We are confident he will be a very good fit with our organization and we look forward to the many ways he will contribute to the team.”

Even with Rose in the fold, the Wine & Gold’s front office likely still has a lot of work to do before the finished product reports for Camp in late September.

This summer, the Conference’s top competitors loaded up once again to roll with Cleveland in June. But even with some front office changes, the Cavaliers haven’t slowed down in their quest to remain the East’s alpha dogs.

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