Free agent point guard Derrick Rose is meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers today, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and he is leaning towards to signing with the Cavs over the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Wojnarowski, Rose has been focused on joining a contender in hopes of improving his market value. At one point last season, it was reported that Rose was seeking a max deal worth $150 million this summer. If he signs with the Cavs, it will be a minimum deal for one year and $2.1 million.
If Rose does sign, it comes at an interesting moment in Cleveland’s offseason. The Cavs are still working through Kyrie Irving’s trade request and it’s still unclear if Irving will be on the roster at the start of the season. Cleveland also signed veteran Jose Calderon this summer and Kay Felder, last year’s second round pick, is also on the roster. If Rose signs with the Cavs, he’d likely be Irving’s backup if Irving sticks around. If Irving dealt, his role with Cleveland could very well depend on what the Cavs get back in return.
Rose would also put the Cavs’ roster at 15 players — meaning that, aside from two two-way contracts, they’d have to cut someone to sign someone else or keep a roster spot open. Felder, who has a small guarantee on his deal for next season, and center Edy Tavares, whose contract became non-guaranteed for 2017-18 on July 13, would be the obvious choices.
Rose, a former MVP who turned 28 last season, averaged 18 points per game last season. He had season-ending knee surgery in April, but is expected to be ready for the start of the season.