Smelling the Roses: How Derrick Rose Impacts the Cavs
The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed point guard Derrick Rose to a one-year, $2.1 million contract. The former MVP is coming off a year in New York, where he averaged 18 points a game, and 4.5 assists per game. He also shot his best shooting percentage from the field (47%) since his 2009-2010 season, via ESPN.
How can Rose help the Cavs? Is he the missing piece that will help them get over the hump and beat the Warriors? Let’s take a look at how Rose will fit into Cleveland’s plans.
Rose will fill a much needed role for the Cavs at the point guard position. Whether starting guard Kyrie Irving gets traded or not, Rose should have a huge role this season. If Irving is gone, then Rose would most likely replace him as the starting point guard.
If Irving stays, then Rose will be a perfect backup to run the offense and provide scoring off the bench with the second unit. Rose and new signing Jose Calderon should be great running the offense when LeBron and Kyrie take a rest, and should help keep their minutes down. Plus, if Kyrie stays, the Cavs could also try playing both Irving and Rose in the backcourt for short periods of time during games. Those two, plus LeBron James would be a hard trio to stop from penetrating the paint.
The move gives the Cavs more ammunition to trade Irving if they want to. Before, they probably were going to seek a quality starting point guard back in return for Irving, but now that they have Rose, they might be willing to hear what other offers teams will pitch to them, without having to take back a point guard in return. If they like the point guard they are getting back (like if the Boston Celtics offered Isaiah Thomas) they can still make the trade and use Rose as a backup.
Rose might not be the 2011 MVP anymore, but last year proved that he can still play, and the Cavs are going to need his skillset if they want to compete with the Golden State Warriors. His driving and scoring ability will be maximized on the Cavs, who have a lot of shooters to space the floor and open up driving lanes for him. He’s not a good outside shooter (Rose for his career only shoots 30% from three), but he’ll get a lot more open looks on the Cavs, so there’s an opportunity for improvement there.
Although Rose gives the Cavs some much needed depth at guard (assuming Irving stays), I still think the Cavs will still have to make moves to keep up with Golden State. Rose doesn’t help the Cavs with their “Durant Problem,” so they will still need to add more wing help that can guard KD. Rose isn’t the greatest defender either, but hopefully on the Cavs, his defensive effort will improve, allowing him to stay on the floor for longer stretches of time either backing Irving up, or alongside him at the two. If Irving does get traded, then Rose’s value depends on what the Cavs get back in return. If Cleveland gets a young, athletic wing that can play defense and shoot the three, then the Rose signing can be extremely valuable at the starting point. If the Cavs only get a few role players that either A. can’t shoot, B. can’t play defense, or C. can’t do either, then Rose might be a waste of a signing. The goal is to win the championship this year. Rose certainly helps, but as of right now, the Cavs situation still stinks.