Derrick Rose may not be the big name that he once was, but expect him to rise again in 2017-18 with the Cleveland Cavaliers
The demise of Derrick Rose has been greatly exaggerated. We all know what has happened to him. He was once the brightest young star in the entire NBA. Not Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry or Blake Griffin. At one point, it was Rose.
He was once touted as the most athletic point guard the NBA had ever seen. He was also the youngest MVP in NBA history. Don’t forget he once dragged the Chicago Bulls to a 62 win season and was viewed as the biggest competition to LeBron James and his Miami Heat.
Fast forward several years later and those same experts and fans that once praised him have now become his biggest critics.
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He’s not what he used to be.
He can’t get to the basket anymore.
He should come off the bench.
He’s the worse point guard in the league.
This is what Derrick Rose has heard for several years. Can you really blame his critics? He has after all suffered multiple injuries including a torn ACL, two torn meniscus and an orbital fracture.
He’s not quite as fast nor is he quite as explosive as he once was. What is they key to getting Derrick Rose back to his previous heights? Another surgery? No. Placing him in a sixth man role to lessen his expectations? No. How about just simply giving him time to find his game? No, again. The answer is LeBron James.
The Eastern Conference has gotten considerably weaker than it was a season ago. All-star caliber players such as Paul Millsap, Paul George and Jimmy Butler have switched over to the West. LeBron was already the favorite to once again make it out of the East this upcoming season but now he is a virtual lock, although the Boston Celtics have a different view on that statement.
Believe it or not, Derrick Rose is one heck of a player. He’s not quite the player he once was but he is still a borderline all-star caliber player. He did just come off a season where he averaged 18 points and four assists. Those are fantastic numbers and seeing Otto Porter Jr. just sign a $106 million dollar deal after averaging a mere 13 points this offseason should tell you something.
Yes, he’s younger than Rose but he’s not a franchise caliber player.
Meanwhile, Derrick Rose signed this offseason for a mere $2.1 million dollars. What does that mean? Teams value winning. With the New York Knicks, the wins were nonexistent. Signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers and getting a chance to make a deep playoff run followed by a chance to compete for a championship is exactly the type of image rebuild Derrick Rose needed.
Say what you want about LeBron James.
He’s not clutch.
He’s not better than Michael Jordan.
Kevin Durant is better than him.
One thing that has been proven is that he gets the most out of the players he plays with and has done a great job of rebuilding their images.
Don’t believe me? How about J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert? Two players that were viewed as cancers to any team and could not help a championship level team. How about Kevin Love? Sure, he put up amazing numbers in Minnesota but they never came close to sniffing a playoff spot and last but not least Kyrie Irving. He was a great player before LeBron came back, but never did any substantial winning as his team’s best player.
Fast forward a few years later and all of those players are champions and have signed lucrative long-term contracts. LeBron will be able to do the same for Derrick Rose. Not only will he be surrounded by better teammates, but he will also have the platform to show that he is still a game changer.
His signing might be temporary but it will go a long way in showing that the Derrick Rose of old is back.