It was reported on July 24 that Derrick Rose is signing a one year, $2.1 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The move now puts every NBA MVP from 2009-2016 on either the Golden State Warriors or the Cleveland Cavaliers. Rose is looking for a consistent spot in the league after injuries have demoted him from a superstar to a role player.
Despite the fact that many fans now disregard Rose as a difference maker, he still averaged 18 points, 4.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 turnovers last season in 64 games for the New York Knicks. On the surface, it appears Rose enhances Cleveland’s chances of competing with the Warriors next season. He’s an obvious upgrade over fellow former All-Star Deron Williams and he also gives the team another scoring option. On the surface, it appears that Rose got out of a bad situation to head into one of the best possible situations.
But he isn’t.
Cavaliers starting point guard Kyrie Irving made headlines over the weekend when the report leaked that he requested a trade from the team. The trade request seemed shocking because Irving’s a superstar on one of the handful of teams in the NBA with a fighting chance at the championship He also made the shot that gave the city of Cleveland its first championship in 51 years. His shoes are popular and his flashy play on the court is popular as well. There isn’t a clear reason as to why Irving wants to leave the Cavaliers.
Sources said that Irving has become frustrated with James’ lack of focus on the current Cavaliers team and he wants to be the main focus of somebody’s franchise. The 25-year-old’s request compares to a modern-day Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal situation. The summer of 2004 was the peak of the animosity between Bryant and O’Neal, ultimately leading to the trade of O’Neal to the Miami Heat. Bryant was 25 at the time. Some people have suggested that Irving’s been influenced by Bryant, one of his biggest mentors, but Bryant denied that claim on Twitter.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) July 24, 2017
Reports have come out that James leaked the news about Irving himself. Then when shouting-out Meek Mill’s new album, James posted the snippet of him bobbing his head to Mill rapping about loyalty.
“Streets left me with a heavy heart. N—-s said they with and they really not. N—-s plot on everything you got,” Mill rapped in James’ video snippet.
The Irving-James beef is a mess to deal with. The Cavaliers now have two months to find the best deal for one of the league’s best point guards before next season’s training camp starts. More than likely, if he’s dealt, Irving is going to be the best player involved in his trade. On top of losing the team’s No. 2 option, James’ 2018 offseason decision is going to loom over the Cavaliers all season again. If Irving doesn’t get traded, the team has to deal with playing alongside someone they know doesn’t want to play with them. The frequent Kevin Love trade rumors won’t slow down either next season.
So yes, while Rose is leaving the Knicks’ mess behind with the new Tim Hardaway Jr. contract, Carmelo Anthony trade talk, the search for a new scapegoat after the firing of Phil Jackson; he’s only becoming a part of a new mess now, and he did it at the messiest time.