Cavs Odds: Derrick Rose may Sign with Cleveland

derrick-rose-cavsThe Cleveland Cavaliers need more talent to contend with the Golden State Warriors. And point guard Derrick Rose needs somewhere to play as the offseason winds down. This makes both sides a good fit for each other.

Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Rose and Cleveland are “in serious talks” to agree on a 1-year contract.

Rose is one the top unrestricted free agents this summer. And if he signs a deal with Cleveland, he’d play backup point guard behind All-Star Kyrie Irving.

The Cavs have already signed Jose Calderon, who averaged 3.4 points and 2.1 assists for the LA Lakers and Atlanta Hawks last season. Calderon is presumed to be Cleveland’s backup, however, he’d play third-string if Rose signs.

But will Rose sign? If so, how does he change the Cavs 2018 championship odds?

We’ll answer these questions below and also discuss how Rose fits into this team.

How can Rose Help the Cavaliers?

rose-knicks-free-agent-2017Derrick Rose is a three-time All-Star who won the league MVP award in 2010. But multiple knee injuries have hampered Rose since the 2011 MVP campaign, when he averaged 25.0 points and 7.7 assists.

Nevertheless, he’s still a productive player who averaged 18.0 PPG, 4.4 APG, and shot 47.1% for the New York Knicks last season.

Number aside, it’s hard to figure out how Rose fits into Cleveland’s plans. Starter LeBron James often plays with the bench unit and handles the ball. The backup point guard has usually been a good shooter who’s comfortable coming off screens.

Rose, on the other hand, is one of the league’s worst point guards at outside shooting. He hit just 21.7% of his three-point attempts last season and is a career 29.8% shooter from beyond the arc.

Obviously the Cavs’ past bench formula won’t work with Rose. But what he can do is run the offense by himself when James and Irving sit.

derrick-rose-clevelandOne of Cleveland’s biggest problems has been supplying offense whenever either Irving or James rest. And Rose could take care of this problem.

If he can score 18 points and get to the rim for the dysfunctional Knicks, he should have no trouble doing well against reserve point guards.

As for the way Cleveland normally likes to use their bench, Calderon could still have a role.

Again, he wouldn’t play many minutes with both Rose and Irving on the team. But he could be the off-the-ball point guard Cleveland needs when LeBron runs the bench offense. Calderon is a career 40.9% three-point shooter, which would help.

What does Rose have Left?

Derrick Rose may be 28 years old, but he’s an old 28.

After being selected No. 1 overall by the Chicago Bulls in 2008, he played extremely well from then until his MVP season in 2011. The Bulls were also great, finishing first in the Eastern Conference standings in 2011 and 2012.

derrick-rose-2017-knicks-resignBut Rose tore his ACL for the first time in the opening round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs. Since then, he’s had other knee injuries that have robbed him of his signature explosiveness.

Rose did prove he has something left with the Knicks, though, playing 64 games and recording his best scoring average since 2012.

It was his most effective offensive season of the past five years. He also shot his highest field goal percentage since then too.

And Cleveland isn’t asking Rose to be their superstar. They just need somebody to help the offense when James, Irving, and/or Kevin Love are sitting.

Rose’s Impact on Cavs 2017/18 Odds

derrick-rose-carmeloCurrently, we have Cleveland’s odds of winning the 2018 NBA championship at +350. For comparison, we had them in the +200s throughout much of last offseason after they won the 2016 title.

But the Cavs looked outclassed by the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals. And it’s clear that they need help because the Warriors (-220 odds) are bringing back their entire core.

Rose doesn’t suddenly swing the odds in Cleveland’s favor. But what he does do is give them a better chance. Assuming Rose signs, the Cavs’ true odds swing to the low +300s or high +200s.

Will Rose Take a Low Contract?

One big roadblock is that Cleveland doesn’t have any cap space. The highest contract they can offer Rose is the remaining $2.5 million of their taxpayer mid-level exception.

He made $21.5 million playing for the Knicks last year. Perhaps he’ll take far less money for the opportunity to compete for a championship.

According to ESPN, they’re only offering him a $2.1 million veteran minimum. As reported by Chris Haynes, Rose “just wants to play ball” and will be looking closely at the Cavs’ and other team’s culture.

Cleveland did have a good team culture, one that includes three straight NBA Finals trips. But a dark cloud hangs over the Cavs with all the reports on James eyeing the LA Lakers in 2019.

Rose also Interested in LA Lakers and Chicago Bulls

Lakers Nation reports that Rose is intrigued with the prospect of signing with LA or Chicago. Of these two, he’s mostly interested in the Lakers:

“The Lakers and Cavs are the favorites to land Rose and each offers something completely different,” writes Lakers Nation’s Corey Hansford. “The Cavaliers would give Rose the opportunity to win a championship as they’ve made the NBA Finals three straight seasons and will again be the favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference this year.”

The big draw to either LA or Chicago is that they can both offer Rose more money. Chicago offers the added benefit of being Rose’s former team and hometown.

However, the drawback is that both teams are in rebuilding situations. And Rose would lose far more games with either team than with the Cavs.

Given that Rose is expected to make a decision this weekend, we should know very soon what he decides.

LeBron James 2018 Superteam: Cousins, George, Wall in LA

lebron-james-demarcus-cousinsMost NBA offseason talk has revolved around a guy who isn’t eligible for free agency until 2018. Nevertheless, LeBron James’ next move has become a big topic of discussion.

The media believes the LA Lakers are favored to land James. Much of this has to do with his Brentwood mansion, and the opportunities he’d reap while living in the world’s entertainment capital.

But there’s one big problem: the Lakers aren’t very good right now.

The young LA squad is coming off a 26-56 campaign, which doesn’t exactly fit in with LeBron’s goal of chasing Michael Jordan’s ghost (and rings).

This means that if LeBron bolts Cleveland for the West Coast, he’ll need some firepower to help win. Let’s cover rumors that this firepower could come in the form of Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, and John Wall.

Three Players on the Move?

paul-george-lebron-jamesPaul George has been surrounded with talk of going to LA ever since he announced his intentions months ago. George’s desire to go back home forced Indiana Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard to make a desperation trade with Oklahoma City just to recoup something.

The Thunder gave up Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to land George for one year. The hope is that Oklahoma City plays well enough to convince him to stay. But there’s no guarantee that he and Russell Westbrook’s games will mesh.

Then we have Cousins, who was traded from one bad situation (Sacramento Kings) to another (New Orleans Pelicans). The good news is that Cousins pairs with do-it-all forward Anthony Davis. The bad news is that New Orleans gutted their already limited core to bring Boogie in.

Finally, we have Wall, who’s an unrestricted free agent in 2019. Wall and the Washington Wizards could take another step forward after finishing 49-33 last season. But if they don’t improve this season or next, will Wall re-sign in his late 20s?

Bill Simmons Weighs in on LeBron’s Potential Superteam

john-wall-lebron-jamesThe famed Bill Simmons discussed all of this on his latest podcast, and he may be the first one to put the LeBron-George-Cousins-Wall quartet in LA.

“What if I told you that 12 months from now, LeBron James, Paul George, John Wall, and Boogie Cousins will all be on the Los Angeles Lakers together?” Simmons pondered. “Conspiracy Bill has some things that he doesn’t like about what’s going on. I think the LeBron James–L.A., he hasn’t come out and denied it.

“Everyone’s talking about it in the league, it became public last month. He knows they’re talking about it and hasn’t said anything. Hasn’t said, ‘This is ridiculous. I’m so tired of hearing this. I want to finish my career in Cleveland.’”

Simmons continued connecting the dots by bringing up how Wall is represented by LeBron’s sports agency.

“So, John Wall, represented by Klutch, Rich Paul, LeBron’s buddy. LeBron, it’s pretty clear he either owns Klutch or funded it or has a stake in it,” said Simmons.

“You could have John Wall and LeBron. Paul George is going to the Lakers anyway. I mean, that’s not even a secret anymore. It’s just like, they might as well start selling his jersey. And I always thought John Wall and Boogie are a team.”

Likelihood of these Stars Ending Up in LA

lebron-james-lakersSimmons has been an expert on the NBA for years. So when he floats the idea that Cousins, George, LeBron, and Wall will team up in Los Angeles, it doesn’t sound so crazy.

This is definitely something that would benefit James in his quest to win more championships. After all, he’ll be 33 next summer and will eventually start declining in play. And with the Golden State Warriors constructed to win for the next few seasons, Cleveland’s currently roster doesn’t look capable of winning any more titles.

Of course, there are huge roadblocks in this scenario too. First off, the Lakers just drafted Lonzo Ball No. 2 overall. And the idea is that he’ll be their point guard of the future.

This isn’t to say that they wouldn’t also take Wall too. But will LA really pay Wall’s asking price since they already having a talented point guard?

There’s also Brandon Ingram to think about. Drafted second overall last season, the 19-year-old is considered a key part of the rebuild. But his development could be hindered by an overloaded superteam.

For fun, let’s just say that LA does get this team together. How will they pay Boogie, George, James, and Wall? Will they be able to afford a bench, or even a fifth starter, in this scenario?

In reality, nobody truly knows what LeBron or any of the other future free agents will do in 2018 and beyond. We think there’s a decent chance he does go to LA and draws other big-name players.

As Simmons pointed out, George is likely to be one of these players. But the jury is out on whether Cousins and Wall will be there too.

Lakers Odds 2018

As it now stands, the Lakers don’t have LeBron or any other stars we’ve discussed. What they do have is another young team that probably won’t offer any serious contention for a playoff spot.

This being said, it’s little surprise that we have the Lakers odds of winning the championship at +10,000.

The Lakers figure to improve with a healthy Ingram, the addition of Ball, and the free-agent signing of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Nevertheless, this unit is too young to contend in the muddled West. But that could quickly change next summer if LA gets one or more superstars.