Rose takes huge pay cut for shot at title with LeBron
Derrick Rose’s goal is to win an National Basketball Association championship. He’s a little closer to one.
The free-agent guard signed a one-year contract Tuesday with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that has blocked his path to a title before and one that needs him now.
Rose is getting a one-year, $2.1million deal — the veteran’s minimum, and all Cleveland could offer — from the Cavaliers, who now have a possible replacement for Kyrie Irving. Rose gives the Cavs a proven player to handle pointguard duties if they choose to trade Irving, who recently told the team he wants to be dealt despite making it to three straight NBA finals.
And while Rose is taking a substantial pay cut (he made $21.3 million last season in New York), he’s focused on one thing.
“I have a single focus and purpose of wanting to play to win,” he said. “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.”
The Cavaliers’ pursuit of Rose seemed somewhat puzzling before Irving’s demands became public. The all-star guard, whose threepointer in the waning moments of Game 7 of the 2016 finals gave Cleveland its first sports championship in 52 years, has reportedly grown tired of playing alongside LeBron James and wants to be the focal point for another team. Rose knows what that’s like. For seven years, he was the unquestioned star for the Chicago Bulls, who got to the Eastern Conference finals in 2011 but were beaten by James’ Miami Heat. Now the former MVPs are united.
James welcomed his new teammate Monday on Twitter, posting five rose emoji’s with the message: “Let’s Rock G!!”
Rose drew interest from several teams but chose the Cavaliers, who despite their recent turmoil and the uncertainty surrounding Irving, are the class of their conference.
“We are very excited to be able to add a player of Derrick’s calibre and experience to the team,” said GM Koby Altman, who was promoted from an interim role on Monday. A three-time all-star and the 2011 MVP, Rose averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists last season while shooting 48 per cent from the field with New York. Although he has been injury prone, Rose played in 64 games for the Knicks and in 181 over the past three seasons. He has averaged 19.5 points and 6 assists in eight seasons as a pro.
Derrick Rose signed a one-year minimum deal worth $2.1 million to join the Cavaliers next season.