Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Derrick Rose had reportedly been contemplating ending his storied NBA career as a result of an injury-plagued career, with an ankle injury being the most recent culprit. While it had seemed that Rose was strongly considering walking away from the game for good during his absence from the team, it now appears that the former NBA All-Star has had a change of heart.
According to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, Rose wants to return to the Cavs and continue his NBA career.
“Derrick Rose wants to come back. Where he fits now remains to be seen,” Lloyd wrote. “Rose has been in contact with Cavs GM Koby Altman in recent days and has expressed a desire to return, The Athletic has learned. The Cavs are expected to have an announcement regarding Rose on Sunday.”
Lloyd continued to say that the money Rose would leave on the table if he were to retire could have played major a role in his decision to return.
“Rose apparently had a change of heart,” he wrote. “His shoe contract might have helped persuade him. Rose has earned about $220 million in salary and endorsements in his career, but ESPN reported he still has seven seasons left on his staggering 13-year, $185 million contract with Adidas he signed in 2012 and projected he could still have more than $80 million left on that deal. That’s a lot of money to forfeit regardless of how much he has already earned.”
He added that Rose, who has averaged 14.3 points per game this season, may have to rebuild some trust in the Cavs’ locker room when he does eventually return.
“Simply put: Rose will have to rebuild some trust within the Cavs’ locker room and it’s fair now to wonder whether they can count on him. Although he was injured in the second game of the season and was never able to show what he can do when healthy, this is a team that has won 11 straight and continues to play well in his absence,” Lloyd wrote. “The narrow focus needed to win a championship isn’t wide enough for a guy who isn’t sure whether he’s in or out.”
Finally, Lloyd wrote that with point guard Isaiah Thomas eyeing his own return to the court, it is unclear where Rose would fit in the current Cavs’ rotation. His place in the rotation is made even more uncertain because of the fact Cavs have won 10 of 11 games since Rose’ departure.
“It’s hard to foresee [Tyronn] Lue shuffling his lineup now and going away from what is working, which includes Jose Calderon starting at point guard and Dwyane Wade as the backup,” he wrote. “As Isaiah Thomas continues to creep closer to a return, Rose could be pushed even further down the depth chart.”
While Rose’s return should be seen as a positive thing, it may get in the way with what has been far and away the most successful stretch of the Cavs’ 2017-18 season. Whatever Lue decides to do, it will be fascinating to see how it plays out.