Derrick Rose is now a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers and might just be a replacement for Kyrie Irving, should Irving get traded elsewhere before the season starts. But Rose’s decision to join Cleveland did not come lightly.
In a story by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the reporter chronicles all the places Rose could have ended up instead of Cleveland and how Rose was once begrudgingly tasked with recruiting James to Chicago. And though the market for Rose seemed to quickly dry up, there was one intriguing offer on the table before he picked LeBron and the Cavs: the Lakers.
No one imagined this dramatic of a drop in the marketplace. Eventually, the Lakers wanted Rose to play behind Lonzo Ball, and be a mentor. Rose lives in L.A. in the summers, and loves Southern California, but he didn’t want to imagine another losing season. Once James and coach Ty Lue became involved in the Cleveland conversations, Rose had a better idea about how it would work for him. In the end, the Cavaliers had interest regardless of the Irving circumstances, league sources said.
That last bit about the Cavs wanting Rose regardless of what happens with Kyrie Irving is also significant. But Rose saying no to the Lakers says something about Rose’s mindset at this point in his career. It’s not the only rebuilding team, or perhaps one with an uncertain immediate future, that he turned down.
Rose tried hard to get top Western Conference teams to sign him — the San Antonio Spurs, the LA Clippers — but those teams passed. Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd had interest, but the Los Angeles Lakers and Cavaliers eventually made offers. Teams drafted point guards (Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers), and re-signed starters (Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Pelicans) and found veterans on the market (Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves). When his old Bulls coach, Minnesota’s Tom Thibodeau, chose Jeff Teague over Rose, it felt as if the market had bottomed out on him
It wasn’t long ago that Rose thought he could make $20+ million a season and take on LeBron himself with the Bulls in Chicago. But now under contract for just over $2 million, Rose might have a huge role on the Cavaliers this fall if Irving does go elsewhere. You never really know how fast things can change.