Derrick Rose

Central Notes: Bulls, Pistons, Smith

The Bulls finally embraced a rebuild this offseason so there will be no shortage of attention paid to how they manage each and every asset from this point forward. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that the club will be particularly patient with injuries to key young players considering that now more than ever the club can afford to lose ball games.

Between the lingering effects of Zach LaVine‘s 2016/17 ACL injury and preseason setbacks to both Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn, the new look Bulls are awfully banged up ahead of the 2017 season opener and may not even see the court together until as late as December.

I think it’s just about being patient,” Dunn, acquired in the trade that sent Jimmy Butler from the Bulls to Minnesota, said. “Lauri, he was in Finland, so there was a lot of strain on his back from all the games they played [in the EuroBasket tournament]. Zach, with his injury, you try to take it slow with him because he’s a big piece to this team. And me, I’m just slowly trying to get back. So it’s just a slow thing.

To that effect, Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg has said that his starting lineup when the season begins on Tuesday will consist of Jerian Grant, Justin Holiday, Nikola Mirotic, Paul Zipser and Robin Lopez.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • When Derrick Rose signed a minimum contract with the Cavaliers, he did so as a bet on himself. “I get a chance to reintroduce myself back to the league. I get to bet on myself. 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,” he told Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
  • While Pistons projects Luke Kennard and Henry Ellenson figure to make an impact on the team eventually, they’ll have to beat out defensive-minded veterans Reggie Bullock and Anthony Tolliver for minutes, Keith Langlois of the team’s official site writes. Both Tolliver and Bullock provide plenty of intangible skill that make life easier for the second unit.
  • The announcement that Dwyane Wade would be the Cavaliers‘ starting shooting guard didn’t go over well with J.R. Smith. “We talked about it,” Smith told Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. “It wasn’t the most positive conversation, but we talked about it and we’ll get through it together.

Bulls Notes: Rose, Wade, Dunn, Lineup

With Dwyane Wade poised to start at shooting guard this season for the Cavaliers, he and Derrick Rose will share the backcourt in Cleveland. The pairing is one that the Bulls badly wanted to create themselves back in 2010, and Rose said today that he made an effort to bring Wade – along with LeBron James and Chris Bosh – to Chicago. As Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com details, the former No. 1 overall pick recorded a video to recruit the trio.

“Oh yeah, yeah, I tried,” Rose said, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “People always said that I didn’t recruit. I tried to recruit. I put out the video, but, it wasn’t for me to say that. I felt like it was for the organization to say that.”

Rose, who received some criticism during his time with the Bulls for not making a stronger effort to recruit free agents, said today that he doesn’t know whether Wade, James, and Bosh ever watched the video he recorded.

“(The Bulls) didn’t say anything about it,” Rose said. “They sent it, I don’t know if they really actually looked at it or played the video, but, I made the video, but at the time it really wasn’t for me to say that.”

Here’s more from out of Chicago:

  • There are no hard feelings between the Bulls’ young players and Wade, despite an incident last season in which the veteran guard – along with Jimmy Butler – questioned his teammates’ desire to win. We never had any conflict with Dwyane,” Nikola Mirotic said, per Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. “Just after that game, they had some tough declarations, Jimmy and D-Wade. But that was all. It’s a part of the game. They were hot. There was disappointment about the game. We all understand. But inside the locker room and in the practices, they were terrific with us. So there’s nothing to complain about.”
  • Bulls reporter Sean Highkin (Twitter link) hears that the Bulls expect point guard Kris Dunn to be sidelined for two to four weeks due to a dislocated finger.
  • While it hasn’t been set in stone yet, all signs are pointing toward the Bulls opening the season with Jerian Grant, Justin Holiday, Paul Zipser, Mirotic, and Robin Lopez in their starting lineup. K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune has the details.

Central Notes: Rose, Love, Robinson, Holiday

Enjoying a fresh start in Cleveland, Derrick Rose admits to being in “a dark place” last season with the Knicks, relays Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Rose missed part of training camp because of a civil suit involving sexual battery allegations, then had a much-publicized disappearance in January when he missed a game without permission. His season ended early as New York shut him down in April with a torn meniscus in his left knee that required surgery. “By a dark place, I mean, I was playing, like, revenge basketball, and that wasn’t my way of playing basketball,” Rose explained.

Rose didn’t get the free agent offers he anticipated and wound up signing a one-year minimum-salary deal with Cleveland. It’s a big step down for a former Most Valuable Player, but Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue sees it as a sign of character. “A guy who has been MVP, who started his whole career and to come here for the minimum knowing and thinking that Kyrie [Irving] is going to be here with him being the backup, it just shows he wants to win,” Lue said. “And that’s who he is as a person. You can see it every single day. He wants to be a winner. He wants to win. He works that way. So it’s just great to have him here.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The pickup of Jae Crowder in the Irving trade may prompt Lue to use a smaller starting lineup, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Heading into camp, Lue said he intended to keep Tristan Thompson as his starting center. But Crowder’s ability to stretch the court as a power forward may make entice Lue to use Kevin Love in the middle and make Thompson a reserve. “We did a lot of that last training camp, but as far as how the sets are put together right now throughout training camp I am seeing a pretty significant amount of time there,” Love said. “Depends on — now with so many guys on the team and so many lineups that we can throw out there it will probably change.”
  • Glenn Robinson III will miss two months with a severely sprained ankle, but the Pacers forward is relieved it wasn’t worse, according to Jim Ayello of The Indianapolis Star. Robinson and his teammates were concerned that he might have ended his season when he fell hard at practice Friday. “I’m young,” said Robinson, who was in a walking boot today at practice. “Hopefully I can heal a little faster.”
  • The Bulls appear headed for a high lottery pick, but that’s not how they’re approaching camp, relays Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. “Regardless of what people might think or say, we’re here to win,’’ said Justin Holiday, who came back to Chicago this summer after spending one season in New York. “We’re not on this NBA team just to be here, just to hang out. We’re here to win games.”

Cavaliers Hope To Have Isaiah Thomas Back By Christmas

The Cavaliers are optimistic that Isaiah Thomas can recover from injuries to his right hip in time for their Christmas game with Golden State, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

The two-time All-Star has reportedly made “real progress” in rehab since joining the team in late August. Thomas was part of the package that Cleveland received from Boston in return for Kyrie Irving, and a dispute over Thomas’ medical condition help up the deal for about a week.

Cavaliers officials refused to answer questions about Thomas’ hip in a press conference after the deal was completed and offered no timetable for a possible return. Today’s news is the first indication of when he might be ready to play again.

Thomas suffered a torn labrum during the season and aggravated the injury in the Eastern Conference Finals, forcing him to miss the end of the series. It has been reported that he also has a loss of cartilage and some arthritis, which has slowed the recovery process.

Thomas has used a multi-faceted rehab plan to try to get back on the court, Vardon writes. In addition to weightlifting and stretching, he has been running in a pool and on a weightless treadmill and taking stationary shots on the court.

Thomas’ condition affects more than just the Cavaliers’ season. He is hoping for a max contract in free agency next summer after making about $6.3MM this year.

In other news out of Cleveland today:

  • Coach Tyronn Lue says free agent addition Derrick Rose will be the starting point guard until Thomas returns, Vardon tweets. The former MVP agreed to a one-year, minimum salary deal with Cleveland in July after spending one year with the Knicks.
  • The team has named Bernie Bickerstaff senior advisor of basketball operations, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link).

Community Shootaround: The Importance Of Derrick Rose

Isaiah Thomas‘ hip injury has cast doubts on when he will be able to contribute to the Cavaliers this upcoming season. LeBron James and head coach Tyronn Lue reportedly “cooled” on the acquisition of Thomas after learning that he may miss the start of the regular season and possibly be out until after the All-Star break, according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.

Thomas himself has a more positive outlook. Speaking to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski before the Celtics and Cavaliers completed their blockbuster trade, Thomas proclaimed he is “not damaged” and promised he would return to last year’s form — where he averaged an Eastern Conference-best 28.9 PPG.

“There’s never been an indication that I wouldn’t be back, and there’s never been an indication that this is something messing up my career,” he said. Maybe I am not going to be back as soon this season as everyone wants me to be, but I’m going to be back, and I’m going to be the same player again. No doctor has told me anything different than that.”

If Thomas misses that much time, Cleveland’s signing of former NBA Most Valuable Player, Derrick Rose, becomes that much more important. Rose, 28, spent 2016/17 with the Knicks and while off court issues plagued most of his season, he was a productive asset, averaging 18.0 PPG and 4.4 APG. Hindered by injury for most of his career, Rose underwent surgery for a torn meniscus  — his fourth knee surgery — in April but is expected to be ready for training camp.

Cleveland signed Rose to a one-year, $2.1MM  deal — the veteran’s minimum. The same player who spent the last two years saying he will seek a maximum contract (which would have been worth approximately $150MM) will make less in 2017/18 than Ron Baker — his backup in New York last season. Yet, much like his new teammate Thomas, Rose is confident about what he will do in a Cavs uniform.

“When I get on a good team and I’m still hooping the same way, what are you going to say then?” Rose said to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. “The only thing that you’ll can say is that I can still play.”

If Rose can still play at the level of last season, Cleveland will have a more than adequate stopgap if Thomas is not ready to begin the year. Conversely, unless Rose somehow recaptures his 2011 MVP form, he will be a significant downgrade from the departed Kyrie Irving

Either way, Rose will have the opportunity to prove with his play that he’s worth more than the undrafted rookie who was his backup in free agency.

With all of that said: Do you think Rose will be a key part of the Cavaliers next season? If he plays well in Thomas’ absence, should he retain the starters role? Will his body be able to hold up? Will Thomas come back healthy and keep Rose on the bench?

Cavs Notes: Shumpert, Arena Renovations, Rose

As we noted on Monday, the Cavaliers are still interested in trading Iman Shumpert, even as they consider whether to complete the Kyrie Irving trade with the Celtics as is. Shumpert has been linked to a handful of teams this offseason, having nearly been sent to the Rockets in July. The Timberwolves are also among the clubs that has spoken to the Cavs about the veteran swingman, per Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link).

Sources tell Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net that while several teams have shown interest in Shumpert, that interest hinges on the Cavs’ willingness to attach a draft pick to him. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders makes a similar point in his latest piece, noting that if the Cavs are seeking an extra draft pick from the Celtics in the Irving mega-deal, Cleveland could flip that pick in a Shumpert trade in order to move him.

Here’s more on the Cavs as they consider their options with Irving and Shumpert:

  • Within the article linked above, Kyler notes that moving Shumpert without taking back significant salary might also make the Cavaliers more comfortable about taking on Isaiah Thomas‘ contract, even if they have concern about his hip, since dealing Shumpert would further reduce their projected tax bill.
  • With funding from the city of Cleveland uncertain, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has nixed a proposed $140MM renovation to Quicken Loans Arena, as Karen Farkas of Cleveland.com details. Community groups had opposed spending taxpayer money on the project, which was announced by the Cavs eight months ago.
  • Speaking to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, new Cavaliers point guard Derrick Rose opens up about his time with the Knicks, his motivation going forward, and a handful of other topics.

Agent: Rose Had No Interest In Rejoining Knicks As Veteran Mentor

Derrick Rose is now a Cavalier, but in the months leading up to free agency, there were several reports indicating that he hoped to return to the Knicks, and there was a belief that the franchise may have reciprocated that interest. However, after the Knicks drafted Frank Ntilikina and signed Tim Hardaway, Rose’s interest in returning to New York faded, and the team appeared prepared to go in another direction, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post.

[RELATED: Cavaliers sign Derrick Rose]

B.J. Armstrong – Rose’s agent – tells Berman that the Knicks and his client were on different short-term paths, with Rose wanting to contend immediately, while the Knicks could still be “three [or] four years” away.

“Did we miss something?,” Armstrong said of the Knicks. “Is there something going [on] in New York we didn’t see? We all would agree they are on a different timeline than Derrick — a young team with great young talent there and trying to build something for the future. They’re not on the same timeline as players who are a little older and experienced.”

The Knicks entered free agency intent on finding a veteran mentor for Ntilikina, who just turned 19 and may not be ready to take on major minutes right away. Rose was believed to be a candidate, but the club ultimately signed Ramon Sessions, and Armstrong suggests that his client was never interested in that sort of mentor role.

“You’re a mentor when you no longer can play,” Armstrong said. “This league you get paid to perform. You don’t get paid to be a mentor.”

While Rose seemingly had little interest in the Knicks before joining the Cavs, New York also wasn’t making the former MVP a high priority. Although the Knicks kept in contact with Rose until the end, the team never offered him even the veteran’s minimum, a source tells Berman.

According to the Post, the Knicks’ front office believes Sessions will be better suited to mentor Ntilikina. Knicks brass also thinks Sessions could develop better chemistry with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis than Rose ever did (assuming Anthony isn’t traded).

Heat Notes: Richardson, Clark, Rose, Winslow

Starting Thursday, the Heat will be able to offer a contract extension to third-year guard Josh Richardson, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. The offer can be as much as $43MM over four years, and Richardson would have until the start of the regular season to accept it. If he doesn’t, he will become a restricted free agent next summer.

Richardson has been valuable when he’s been in the lineup, but he was limited to 53 games last year because of injuries. Knee surgery forced him to miss training camp and the first four regular season games, then ankle problems sidelined him in midseason.

Jackson expects the Heat to offer at least $30MM over three years, with a player option for the final season. Given the decline in money going to mid-level free agents this summer, Richardson might find that offer appealing.

Here are some more Heat-related notes, courtesy of Jackson:

  • Miami seems likely to hold onto its $4.3MM mid-level exception for the buyout season. The Heat like former Warrior Ian Clark, who once played for Miami’s summer league team, but he’s looking for $8MM, well out of their price range. There’s also not an obvious role for Clark in an already-crowded backcourt.
  • The Heat also didn’t have playing time to give Derrick Rose, which is why they didn’t try to top Cleveland’s $2.1MM offer. Miami’s front office had interest in Rose, but the team is already committed to Goran Dragic as its starter as point guard.
  • Justise Winslow held a press conference this week and said his injured right shoulder will be fully healed by training camp. The second-year forward played just 18 games last year and had season-ending surgery in early January.
  • Free agent big man Luke Babbitt, who was acquired from the Pelicans in a trade last summer, is examining his options for next season. He made $1.227MM last year.
  • Willie Reed probably wouldn’t have opted out of his contract with the Heat if he knew he wouldn’t be getting a raise. The 27-year-old center agreed to a minimum-salary deal with the Clippers worth $1.5MM for one year, roughly the same amount he would have gotten in Miami. Reed said L.A. wants him to provide a defensive presence as a backup to DeAndre Jordan. “I felt like it was a comfortable position and it was kind of similar to the role that I played in Miami,” Reed said, “so it wouldn’t be difficult for me to adjust.”

Central Notes: Rose, Parker, Mirotic, Harris

Newest Cavaliers point guard Derrick Rose, who signed with the club on a one-year, $2.1MM veteran’s minimum contract, is viewed by the team as a backup, Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor writes. New Cavs general manager Koby Altman was careful in describing his new point guard, stating that the former Most Valuable Player will be an asset off the bench.

Entering free agency, Rose reiterated on many occasions that his goal was to sign a max contract in free agency. After a decent – if unspectacular – year with the Knicks in 2016/17 that ended with knee surgery, Rose’s free agency destinations dwindled, as did his salary. However, Altman noted that Rose was mostly interested in a winning environment.

“He wanted to be in a place where he can play with excellent players and a place where he can play in meaningful games,” Altman said at his introductory press conference.. “It’s funny, he uses the term, ‘I just want to hoop.’ He just wants to be here. He’s excited to be here. He’s in a great space mentally and his body looks great and we’re really excited about him. He came here for the opportunity to win. He came here for the opportunity to play with other great players.”

Rose, still just 28 years old, will focus on helping the team, even if it means sacrificing playing time.

Below are additional links around the Central Division:

  • Bucks‘ forward Jabari Parker is recovering from a second tear of his ACL but is recovery is going well, he tells ESPN’s Nick Friedell. The 22-year-old has previously suffered a tear in the same ACL but despite not having a return date in mind, he expects to be back on the court this upcoming season.
  • Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy views Tobias Harris as a starter but it will be up to the rest of the team’s performance to see if he becomes a starter, NBA.com’s Keith Langois writes.
  • Nikola Mirotic, who is currently in talks with the Bulls, will not play in Eurobasket 2017, according to Sportnado. Mirotic’s focus is his NBA career, the brief report states.

Cavaliers Notes: James, Billups, Irving, Rose

LeBron James‘ future after the upcoming season is a mystery even to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, writes Marla Ridenour of The Akron Beacon Journal. Gilbert acknowledged at Wednesday’s press conference with new GM Koby Altman that the Cavs have no control over what James may decide to do in the summer of 2018. The three-year contract he signed last summer includes a player option worth more than $35.6MM for 2018/19. “I think he is very hungry for this season and he will tell you that, too,” Gilbert said. “Beyond this season I don’t know. We’re focused on this season.”

There’s more this morning out of Cleveland:

  • Gilbert took issue with reports that Chauncey Billups turned down a front office position because of money, Ridenour adds in the same story. Billups supposedly interviewed twice with the team about possibly replacing former GM David Griffin, but Gilbert downplayed those sessions, calling them “informal.” He also said an ESPN report that Billups pulled his name out of consideration because of a lowball salary offer of $2MM were erroneous. “It was nothing to do with money at all,” Gilbert said. “For you guys to think that we’re in this payroll tax or luxury tax to where we are and we’re going to worry about — I don’t want to ever say a million dollars or two [million] dollars or three is not a lot of money — but relatively speaking, you know our track record and that’s not how we make decisions. It had nothing to do with money.”
  • The refusal by Gilbert and Altman to admit that Kyrie Irving has asked for a trade was a strategy to preserve the point guard’s value, according to Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. Pluto notes that Irving and his representatives have had several days to deny the rumor and have remained silent. The writer adds that getting sufficient value in return for Irving is the biggest challenge facing Altman as he settles into his new job.
  • The Cavaliers have made attempts to reach out to Irving, but he doesn’t want to talk to anyone from the team, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic (subscrition site).
  • Derrick Rose hoped to sign with the Spurs or Clippers when free agency began, but both teams passed on him, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Bucks coach Jason Kidd was interested, but the only offers came from the Lakers and Cavaliers.
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