It was just over one year ago when ESPN.com’s Ian Begley reported that Derrick Rose, who was headed for unrestricted free agency, would seek a maximum salary deal. Despite his decorated injury history, Rose was enjoying a solid offensive season in New York and while a max deal seemed unlikely at the time, the idea sounds downright laughable a year later.
Just like in years past, Rose finished the 2016/17 season on his team’s injured list after he tore the meniscus in his left knee. Rose finished the year averaging 18.0 PPG, his highest in a season where he played at least 40 games since his MVP campaign in 2010/11. The Knicks had no clear solution at point guard and reports suggested that Rose wanted to stay in New York.
However, the Knicks were immersed in behind-the-scenes turmoil while then-team president Phil Jackson was in control. Jackson confirmed Rose wanted to stay and was open to the idea. Shortly thereafter, Jackson was fired, the Knicks drafted Frenchman Frank Ntilikina, and Rose was in search of a new home. Rose’s max contract did not materialize; the market for his services never developed and he signed a one-year, minimum salary deal with Cleveland.
“I get a chance to reintroduce myself back to the league. I get to bet on myself,” Rose said after signing the deal (via ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin). “That was one of the reasons I came here: I get to bet on myself. And I’m from Chicago, I’ve got that hustling side; it’s in me, man. Next time you’ve got to pay me, you’ve got to pay me double, so it’s fine with me.”
Rose’s stint in The Land was nothing short of forgettable. He left the team in late November to contemplate his future as injuries piled up. He reportedly considered retirement — something he denied later on. Rose returned to the court in mid-January, but the Cavaliers were falling apart and the former MVP — strictly a part-time reserve — was not much of a factor.
In 16 games with Cleveland, Rose averaged a career-worst 9.8 PPG. He was traded to the Jazz as part of a three-team deal on deadline day and was officially waived on Saturday. Reports have mentioned the Timberwolves and Wizards as two potential destinations. Minnesota is led by Tom Thibodeau, who was Rose’s coach during his best seasons in Chicago; the Wizards will be without star John Wall for a while and could use some point guard depth.
At 29 years old, both Rose’s production and body are unreliable. For many — particularly Rose — it is hard to accept that a player who was once the youngest MVP in league history is unemployed at an age where many assumed he would still be one of the game’s elite.
The pressing question is how much longer will Rose want to continue? Where do you see Rose finishing the 2017/18 season, if he plays at all? Should he sit out the rest of the year and try again in 2018/19? Rose averaged 18.0 PPG just one year ago; can he come anywhere close to that again? Please share your thoughts and comments down below.