New Cavaliers point guard Isaiah Thomas is not expected to return to the Cavaliers until late December or January, and there’s been speculation as to whether former MVP Derrick Rose would get the starting gig, or whether the team would move LeBron James to the de facto point guard spot.
Well, Tyronn Lue has confirmed at media day today that Rose will get the official nod as the starter until Thomas returns from his injury.
Ty says Derrick Rose will start at PG until IT returns— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) September 25, 2017
Lue was asked if he considered Rose to be a starter on a championship level team, and he had this to say:
“Yes I do. I mean, he’s 28 years old, so, I know he’s been around for a long time. He’s achieved a lot of things in his short career being so young. We really value what he can bring to this team. Seeing him last year in New York, when he averaged 18 [points], 5 [assists], and 4 [rebounds, top three among guards in getting to the paint . . . coming to our team, with the spacing we have and the shooters we have I think it’ll be great for him.”
It doesn’t really matter if Lue thinks Rose is that kind of player in this point in his career or not. Lue pumps up his guys and tries to empower them to play confidently, and these comments echo that.
Rose makes sense as the starter, given the spacing that’s provided by J.R. Smith, LeBron James (when his jumper is on) and Kevin Love. Also, it allows LeBron a break from having to almost single-handedly provide playmaking duties against opposing starting units.
Dwyane Wade has been linked to the Cavaliers, and he might have something to say about Rose’s starting spot, but for now, it’s Rose’s job. We’ll see if he holds onto it.