When the Cavs traded Kyrie Irving to the Celtics and got Isaiah Thomas in return, they knew they would need someone to fill the point guard vacancy for some period of time this season until Thomas returned from his hip injury.
Cleveland hoped Derrick Rose would be that guy, signing the former MVP to a veteran minimum deal for the year. Unfortunately for the Cavs and Rose, that hasn’t panned out as Rose has dealt with yet another injury, this time an ankle issue, and when he has been on the floor the Cavs have been worse with him than without him.
On Friday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin reported Rose was no longer with the team as he continues to rehab his left ankle injury that has kept him out since Nov. 7 after his most recent aggravation of the original sprain that happened early in the season in Milwaukee. Not only was Rose not with the Cavs, but he’s reportedly mulling his basketball future.
Wojnarowski reports Rose is as mentally fatigued by his injury issues as much as physically.
According to Wojnarowski and McMenamin, Rose’s absence has created a “growing uncertainty” within the Cavs organization as to whether he will return at all.
Should Rose decide to call it a career and retire, it would bring an end to one of the fastest rises and falls in recent NBA history. Young, healthy Derrick Rose was one of the league’s most dominant forces, as evidenced by his 2010-11 MVP award win, but since his first knee injury in 2012 he’s simply never been the same player, despite the occasional flash of his old self on a big dunk or unbelievable finish at the rim.
For the Cavs, they’ve been operating without Rose for much of this season, but it only furthers their point guard depth problem. Thomas is reportedly nearing a return to the court and has been seen working before games on drills, but until he returns they will continue to have to lean on LeBron James in that point guard role along with Dwyane Wade and Jose Calderon with Iman Shumpert banged up.