CLEVELAND - With Kyrie Irving seeking a trade, the Cleveland Cavaliers bolstered their backcourt on Tuesday when the team officially announced the signing of free agent point guard Derrick Rose.
“We are very excited to be able to add a player of Derrick’s caliber and experience to the team,” Cavs general manager Koby Altman said in a statement. “Derrick could have gone to a number of other teams, but his specific mindset, goals and total focus and commitment to winning are what resulted in him signing with the Cavaliers. We are confident he will be a very good fit with our organization and we look forward to the many ways he will contribute to the team.”
While terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team, ESPN reported Rose signed with Cleveland for a one-year, $2.1 million veteran minimum.
In addition to the Cavs, the 28-year-old Rose had reportedly received interest this offseason from the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, as well as his two former teams, the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks. In 64 games with the Knicks last season, Rose averaged 18.0 points on .471 shooting, as well as 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 32.5 minutes per game.
Prior to his lone season in New York, Rose spent seven seasons with the Chicago Bulls, who selected him first overall out of Memphis in the 2008 NBA Draft. In that time, Rose was named the 2009 Rookie of the Year and 2011 MVP, providing Chicago with its first franchise player since Michael Jordan.
Knee injuries, however, would temporarily derail Rose's career, as he missed all of the 2012-13 season before playing in just 10 games the following year. But after being traded to New York in the summer of 2016, Rose seemed to revitalize his career as he posted his highest averages since the 2011-12 campaign.
“I have a single focus and purpose of wanting to play to win,” said Rose. “Being part of a roster and organization that shares that type of commitment and being able to play with the Cavaliers and compete for a championship is the only thing that matters for me. I am very happy to be in Cleveland and look forward to getting to work.”
Rose's role in Cleveland will likely be determined by the status of Irving, who requested a trade from the franchise two weeks ago, according to ESPN. On Monday, Rose's new teammate, LeBron James, took to Twitter to welcome the fellow former MVP to Cleveland.
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