Derrick Rose is heading to Cleveland to play with LeBron James and chase the championship that has eluded him in his injury-plagued career.
Rose cut ties with the Knicks Monday when the free-agent point guard reached a one-year agreement with the Cavaliers for the NBA veteran’s minimum, a league source confirmed. Rose, who made $21.3 million with the Knicks last season, will get $2.1 million for the 2017-18 season.
The Cavaliers are in the market for a point guard since Kyrie Irving has requested to be traded. According to a report, the Knicks were among four teams Irving would like to join. The others are San Antonio, Miami and Minnesota. Irving, reportedly, wants to be a focal point of an offense and doesn’t want to be in James’ shadow anymore.
Rose, 29, apparently has no issue sharing the ball with James or being in his shadow. He has missed the playoffs the past two seasons and never reached the NBA Finals in his eight-year career. James’ teams have appeared in seven straight NBA Finals.
Rose met with the Cavaliers Monday and chose them over the Lakers, Bulls and Bucks. All of them could have paid Rose more than the league minimum.
The former NBA MVP played in 64 games last season and averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists for the Knicks after being acquired from Chicago. Rose’s season ended in April when he tore his left meniscus and needed surgery.
His Knicks’ career got off to a bad start when he spent most of training camp in Los Angeles because of a civil sexual assault trial. He left the team in January without notifying them on a game day and returned home to Chicago. Rose returned to the Knicks the next day, saying he had “a family issue.”
He ended up being a one-year stopgap for the Knicks, who continue to search for a franchise-caliber point guard. But Rose’s acquisition from Chicago ended up being the first of a series of moves that have backfired.
After getting Rose, former Knicks president Phil Jackson decided to load the roster with veterans to complement Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis to try to make a playoff run.
Jackson then signed Rose’s old Chicago teammate Joakim Noah to a four-year, $72-million contract, gave Courtney Lee a four-year, $50-million deal and inked Brandon Jennings to a one-year, $5-million pact.
Noah appeared in 46 games before needing shoulder surgery. He also was suspended 20 games for violating the league’s anti-drug policy, 12 of which will carry over into next season. Jennings was bought out after the trade deadline. Only Lee remains but there has been speculation that he could be moved for a point guard if the Knicks can’t get one if they trade Anthony.
The Knicks acquired Rose, Justin Holiday and a second-round pick from the Bulls for Jose Calderon, Robin Lopez and Jerian Grant. Holiday left the Knicks earlier this month to re-sign with the Bulls.