Derrick Rose

Cavaliers Rumors: Rose, Thompson, Rotation

Cavaliers point guard Derrick Rose spoke to reporters today for the first time since returning from his time away from the club, and revealed a few more details about the ankle injury that has sidelined him for the last month. As Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com relays, Rose said he’s battling a bone spur, and if his rehab process doesn’t take, he may need to undergo a surgical procedure.

“It’s all about first getting the area to calm down and then strengthening your leg back up again,” Rose said. “So, afterwards, we may have to have a procedure but who knows.”

According to Vardon, it wasn’t clear whether Rose was referring to the possibility of undergoing surgery after the season or sooner than that. Either way, it doesn’t sound like great news for the oft-injured point guard, whose recent absence from the Cavaliers stemmed from an overwhelming frustration with his ongoing health problems.

Here’s more on Rose and the Cavs:

  • When Rose was contemplating his basketball future, much was made of his Adidas contract, which still has a reported $80MM left on it. However, the former MVP said today that the endorsement money wasn’t a factor in his decision, per Vardon. “Not to be rude — I don’t care about no (expletive) money,” Rose said. “It’s not about that. I’ve saved up enough money. It’s not about that. If I wanted to leave, I would have left. Like I said, coming back here, starting with rehab that’s my first step. Keeping it simple and just giving my team support and then I’ll see what I see off the court.”
  • Rose apologized to his Cavaliers teammates at Wednesday’s shootaround for his recent absence, a team source told Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Multiple Cavs, including LeBron James, had previously said that Rose didn’t owe the club an apology. “It wasn’t a big deal and didn’t need to be,” the team source said of the apology, per McMenamin.
  • Injured big man Tristan Thompson had been hoping to get back on the court for the Cavs this week, but he experienced soreness in his troublesome left calf on Wednesday, which may delay his return. Vardon has the details at Cleveland.com.
  • In his latest mailbag for Cleveland.com, Vardon examines how the Cavs’ rotation may change when Thompson returns, and discusses the viability of a potential trade involving Rose.

Central Notes: Rose, Wade, Mirotic, Bledsoe, Terry

Derrick Rose is back training with the Cavaliers as he attempts to rehab from a nagging ankle injury and resume his basketball career. If all goes well and Rose is healthy enough for an on-court return, his role on the suddenly surging Cavs is not clear, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes. 

Cleveland is in the midst of a 12-game winning streak and currently occupy second place in the Eastern Conference. Jose Calderon has settled into the starting point guard role — where Rose began the season due to Isaiah Thomas injury — and the bench has been effective with Dwyane Wade a potential sixth man of the year candidate.

Fedor noted that the Cavaliers’ offense and defense have been better with Rose off the court. Injuries have taken a toll on Rose’s 29-year-old body as he is no longer the NBA Most Valuable Player-caliber talent he was with the Bulls. However, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said Rose’s ability to score would still be a welcome addition.

“He was great. That Washington game, we had a big game in Washington and I think he had 24-25 points,” Lue said to reporters, including Fedor, during shootaround on Monday. “Just his pace, his ability to get to the basket, his speed that he plays with is great for us.”

Check out other news and notes out of the Central Division:

Five Notable Players Who Become Trade-Eligible In December

Nearly every NBA team has at least one or two players who will become trade-eligible this month, starting on December 15. In total, approximately 100 players around the NBA who aren’t currently eligible to be moved will have those restrictions lifted before the end of the month. That’s nearly one quarter of the league’s players.

Those trade restrictions apply to players who recently signed new contracts, so in most cases their teams probably aren’t clamoring to shop them. After all, by mid-December, those players will only have spent about two months of regular-season action on their new deals — even rebuilding teams may want a little more time than that with their recently-signed players to assess whether they’ll be part of the club’s future.

Still, a look through the list of players who will become trade-eligible in December – either on the 15th or later in the month – reveals a few interesting names. Here are some players worth keeping an eye on when their trade restrictions lift:Nerlens Noel vertical

  1. Nerlens Noel, C (Mavericks): As a player who signed his qualifying offer, Noel would lose his Bird rights if he’s traded, so he has the ability to veto any deal the Mavericks might want to make. Still, the situation in Dallas has turned out to be even more unfavorable for Noel than the one he experienced in Philadelphia, increasing the odds that he’d waive his no-trade clause if the opportunity arose. Noel has averaged just 12.5 minutes per game this season, and with unrestricted free agency looming in 2018, a long-term union with the Mavs no longer appears likely.
  2. Alex Len, C (Suns): Len is in a similar situation to Noel, having settled for signing his qualifying offer after failing to find a suitable multiyear deal. He also has veto rights on any deal, but might be willing to accept a trade to a team that would give him more consistent playing time — his minutes have fluctuated significantly in recent weeks and he expressed frustration after not playing at all in a couple games. Trading Greg Monroe or Tyson Chandler would help clear the Suns’ logjam at center and could save the team more money, but it might be easier to find a deal involving Len and his inexpensive expiring contract.
  3. Derrick Rose, PG (Cavaliers): After accommodating Rose’s recent stint away from the team and working to reintegrate him, the idea of trading the point guard may not appeal to the Cavaliers. But it may be the best move for his career. The Cavs have thrived in Rose’s absence, and with Isaiah Thomas due back soon, it’s no longer clear how the former MVP fits into Cleveland’s rotation. If Rose is satisfied with sitting on the bench and waiting for an opportunity, the Cavs could keep him around, but if he wants to play, a trade may be his best path to consistent minutes.
  4. Amir Johnson, F/C (Sixers): There’s no indication that the Sixers are in any way dissatisfied with Johnson or have any interest in moving him. However, his contract makes him an intriguing trade chip if the Sixers want to make a move before the deadline. At $11MM, Johnson’s salary is an ideal mid-sized amount for potential salary-matching, and because it expires at season’s end, it would be more appealing to a trade partner than Jerryd Bayless‘ deal, which is guaranteed through 2018/19. I’m not expecting Johnson to be moved, but if the team tries to make an impact trade, his name figures to pop up in rumors.
  5. Dewayne Dedmon, C (Hawks): Dedmon, currently sidelined due to a tibia stress reaction, should be healthy and back on the court well before the trade deadline, barring any setbacks. The veteran center had been enjoying a career year before he went down, with 11.1 PPG and 7.8 RPG in a modest 24.4 minutes per contest. The 5-18 Hawks clearly aren’t contenders this season, making them probable sellers at the deadline, and Dedmon could be the club’s most appealing trade piece. He’s not expensive, at $6MM, and if he continues to play well, he’s a good bet to turn down his $6.3MM player option for next season, which means now would be the time for Atlanta to get something for him. His rim-protecting and rebounding ability could make him a nice, lower-risk target for a team that misses out on an impact center like DeAndre Jordan.

Note: Len becomes trade-eligible on December 23, while the other four players listed above become trade-eligible on December 15.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Derrick Rose Reports To Cavs’ Facility

9:36am: Rose will resume treatment and rehab on his injured left ankle, the Cavaliers announced today in a press release. As far as the Cavs are concerned, Rose is back with the team, tweets Wojnarowski.Derrick Rose vertical

“This has been a very challenging and difficult time for Derrick,” GM Koby Altman said in a statement. “We will continue to provide him with support and have patience as he re-joins his teammates and works his way back on to the court.”

8:57am: After spending nearly two weeks away from the Cavaliers as part of his “self-imposed exile,” Derrick Rose flew to Cleveland on Monday morning and intends to report to the Cavaliers’ practice facility, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski, Rose is expected to meet with Cavaliers front office officials in order to begin the process of returning to the franchise. While it’s not clear when Rose will get back on the court, the Cavs have a busy week coming up, with four games on tap between now and Saturday, so there should be plenty of opportunities to reintegrate the veteran point guard into the lineup if he’s healthy.

Rose, who sprained his ankle early in November, had grown frustrated a history of injuries that has prevented him from ever capturing his MVP form. The 29-year-old asked Cavs management for some time away from the team to contemplate his basketball future, but has apparently decided that he’s not ready to call it a career quite yet.

It remains to be seen how the Cavs will use Rose when he’s ready to return. The former Bull was the team’s starting point guard earlier in the season, but he wasn’t distributing the ball well (1.7 APG), and Cleveland was just 4-3 in his seven games.

The Cavs, who are currently riding an 11-game winning streak, have gone 12-3 without Rose active this season. Cleveland has had Jose Calderon in its starting lineup for the past seven games, so it’s possible the team won’t want to change what has been working. Additionally, looking beyond just the next couple weeks, Isaiah Thomas figures to assume that starting point guard role once he has fully recovered from his hip injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Central Notes: Thompson, Wade, Mirotic, LaVine

Along with Derrick Rose‘s reported desire to rejoin the Cavaliers, coach Tyronn Lue will have another lineup decision to make when Tristan Thompson becomes healthy enough to return, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Thompson, who moved into the starting lineup after beginning the season as a reserve, has been sidelined since early November with a strained left calf. He hopes to start playing sometime this week, though probably not in the Cavs’ next game, which is tomorrow.

Cleveland was just 1-4 with Thompson as a starter and has been more successful with a smaller lineup featuring Kevin Love at center. With Jae Crowder joining Love, LeBron James, J.R. Smith and Jose Calderon in the starting five, the Cavaliers, who have won 11 in a row, can put five shooters on the floor together. Lue noted Saturday that the team is 15-3 with Love as the starting center, so Thompson may have to adapt to a reserve role.

There’s more this morning from the Central Division:

  • He may be biased, but James is endorsing teammate Dwyane Wade for Sixth Man of the Year, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Wade signed with the Cavaliers after agreeing to a buyout with the Bulls shortly before training camp. He was a starter for the first three games, but asked to come off the bench and has excelled as the leader of the second unit, averaging 12.3 points and 4.0 assists in 23.5 minutes in the new role. “Team success is always up there with winning an award, that’s just my personal opinion,” James said. “Then the impact you make on that second lineup, or whatever lineup that you’re in.” 
  • The Bulls will get some much-needed help with the impending return of Nikola Mirotic and Zach LaVine, writes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Mirotic is expected back this week after healing from facial fractures he suffered during a preseason skirmish with teammate Bobby Portis. Mirotic will likely join Portis as part of the second unit. The team is being more cautious with LaVine, who is recovering from a torn ACL. He is expected to start playing in late December or early January. “You can get excited watching him,” said executive VP John Paxson. “He has moments where his athleticism makes you go, ‘Wow, this would really help us on the court.’ But we have to make sure as he comes back that he’s really good to go. And even then we’re going to be cautious with his minutes.”
  • Bulls guard David Nwaba returned Friday, even though he says his sprained right ankle hasn’t fully healed, Johnson relays in a separate story. Nwaba had earned a starting spot before the injury, which sidelined him for nearly all of November. He’ll probably return to a reserve role, especially with LaVine expected back.

Derrick Rose Wants To Rejoin Cavaliers

Derrick Rose is ready to return to the Cavaliers, reports Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. The veteran point guard expressed that sentiment to GM Koby Altman this week, and the team is expected to address the situation today.

Rose left the team 11 days ago, reportedly frustrated over his latest injury, a sprained left ankle that has kept him out of action since November 9. He told management he needed some time to contemplate his future in the NBA after a long string of physical problems.

Rose’s decision was influenced at least partially by the $80MM still remaining on a 13-year, $185MM endorsement contract he signed with Adidas in 2012. He signed with Cleveland for the veterans’ minimum of $1,471,382 and doesn’t want to give up that extra income by quitting the game.

The Cavs may welcome Rose back, but that doesn’t mean he will go back to his former role. The team won its 11th straight game Saturday night and has found a successful combination with Jose Calderon starting at point guard and Dwyane Wade serving as the backup. Calderon isn’t getting typical playing time for a starter — he was on the court just 14 minutes last night — but the team is 7-1 with him in the starting lineup and coach Tyronn Lue will be reluctant to shake up a rotation that is working. Isaiah Thomas is expected to return from his hip injury sometime this month and take over the starting spot, which could leave Rose without any defined role.

Lloyd says Rose will have to work to rebuild trust in the locker room after walking away from the team. After disappearing on the Knicks for a game last season, Rose may be getting the reputation of someone who isn’t fully committed to basketball.

‘Positive’ Talks With Derrick Rose, Who Might Return Soon

The Cavaliers are reporting “positive” communication with Derrick Rose and he may return to the team soon, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

Coach Tyronn Lue and GM Koby Altman both confirmed there has been recent contact with Rose, but didn’t offer any other information. Lue referred questions on the topic to Altman, who promised more information on Sunday.

Rose, who hasn’t played since November 9 because of an injured ankle, left the team 10 days ago to contemplate his future in the NBA. He is reportedly frustrated over a series of injuries that have plagued him over the last several years.

Rose, who agreed to a veterans’ minimum contract in July, played just seven games before the ankle problem struck. He averaged 14.3 points per night, but Cleveland didn’t start winning consistently until he left the lineup.

There’s no guarantee that Rose will have a spot in the rotation if he does return, especially with Isaiah Thomas expected back from his hip injury later this month. Dwyane Wade had taken over point guard duties with the reserves.

LeBron James said earlier today that he hasn’t been in contact with Rose since he left.

“Whenever he’s ready to tell us or whatever, we’re ready for that,” James said. “You don’t ever fast track someone’s process of what they may be going through. When they’re ready to talk about it or ready to bring it to the forefront, as his teammates we’ll be ready for it.”

Central Notes: Johnson, Rose, Terry

The Pistons have trotted out Stanley Johnson as a starting small forward and have been pleased with the returns, Rod Beard of the Detroit News. While Johnson has done a fine job chipping in offensively, it’s with his defense that he’s justified the promotion.

Johnson, Beard writes, is learning first-hand the highs and lows of the job. Being in the Pistons starting lineup means that he’ll have less of an obligation to initiate his own offense but will typically line up against opposing teams’ best forwards.

Playing with the first unit, you have better scorers and options,” Johnson said of the adjustment on that side of the ball. “You have Andre Drummond — that’s the biggest difference between any team and [the Pistons] —  and he creates so much attention.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Despite having seen just 36 minutes of action prior to the Bucks‘ last game, Jason Terry figures to become a bigger part of Milwaukee’s rotation, Matt Velasquez of the Journal Sentinel tweets.
  • While Derrick Rose‘s fate lies in his own hands, former Bulls counterparts Taj Gibson and Tom Thibodeau have faith in the Cavaliers guard. “Derrick is a good thinker,” Gibson told Nick Friedell of ESPN. “He thinks a lot. He’s a real smart guy, so if he needs to get away, let him get away, let him adjust, and he’ll come back. He’s a tough guy. He’s from Chicago, man.
  • The Pistons have been pleased with their production off the bench this season, thanks to a deep roster loaded with multiple skill sets. “We thought going into the season that depth would be one of our strengths because we thought that everybody on our roster had a chance to contribute,” head coach Stan Van Gundy told Ansar Khan of MLive. “We still feel that way and it does allow you to do different things in different situations.

Cavs Notes: Rose, Thomas, Wade, LeBron

Derrick Rose continues to stay in communication with the Cavaliers’ front office during his absence from the team, but his future in Cleveland “remains unclear,” sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Rose, who left the Cavs last Wednesday, isn’t healthy enough to play right now anyway, so the team has been patient with the point guard’s needs and hasn’t shown any indication of considering a fine or suspension for him, per Wojnarowski. Still, the situation will likely need to be addressed by the time Rose has recovered from his ankle injury.

As the Cavs wait for Rose to make a decision on his future, here are a few more notes out of Cleveland:

  • While Rose’s return is unclear, the Cavaliers remain hopeful that their other injured point guard, Isaiah Thomas, will be able to return to the court at some point in December, Wojnarowski notes in the piece linked above. Although Thomas published a tweet on Sunday hinting that his return is imminent, he’s still a few steps away from making his Cavs debut, says Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.
  • Dwyane Wade will face the Heat on Tuesday for the first time as a Cavalier, and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra says that seeing Wade in a Cavs uniform is “like the Twilight Zone,” per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “It will never seem right,” Spoelstra said. “For me, I hate it. But I’m happy for Dwyane. I’m happy for his family. I think he’s in a good spot. … I think the role that he’s in is going to be one of the most impactful roles in the league.”
  • Much has been made of Kyrie Irving‘s emergence in Boston after the offseason’s blockbuster Cavs/Celtics trade, but LeBron James is playing some of the best ball of his career in the wake of that deal too. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst takes a closer look at James’ dominance this season, including his tremendous fourth-quarter numbers.

Central Notes: Bell, Valentine, R. Jackson, Rose

Jordan Bell‘s jab at the Bulls after Friday’s game was a reminder of how many mistakes Chicago’s front office has made in recent years, writes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. The dynamic Warriors rookie made a money gesture during pre-game introductions and later said, “I wanted to see how cash considerations was playing over there.” Bell was drafted by the Bulls with the 38th pick and traded to Golden State for $3.5MM.

Chicago was focused on wing players at that spot, Johnson explains, and didn’t mind selling the rights to the pick once its prime targets were off the board. At the time, it was an indication that the team planned to re-sign free agents Cristiano Felicio and Nikola Mirotic and had faith in Bobby Portis and first-rounder Lauri Markkanen.

Johnson says the Bulls have to hope that Bell won’t be the latest successful young player they’ve let get away, a list that includes Gary Harris, Jusuf Nurkic and Tony Snell.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • One young player who is offering hope for the future in Chicago is Denzel Valentine, who has started the past six games, notes Sam Smith of NBA.com. Valentine has improved his numbers to 11.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per night in that new role and is getting used to small forward, where he is expected to battle for playing time with Justin Holiday once Zach LaVine returns from injury. “[You] come to an NBA team and the second year basically is like the first year until you gain that trust and prove yourself a little bit in the league,” Valentine said. “I haven’t proved myself yet, but I think I am inching my way to trusting, the coaches trusting me and me trusting the coaches.”
  • Friday’s win at Oklahoma City was important to Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson, who spent the first three-and-a-half seasons of his career with the Thunder before a 2015 trade to Detroit. “It was definitely special because I haven’t won in this building – except for playing here and being on this team, but I hadn’t won in this building with this team,” Jackson told Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. “It’s good to get a team win like that and have these guys’ backs and find a way to get one is special.”
  • The Cavaliers knew physical problems were a concern with Derrick Rose when they signed him this summer, notes Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. However, he worked out with LeBron James during part of the offseason and seemed worth the risk on a veterans’ minimum contract.
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