Lets’s start with a disclaimer: Nearly every player and agent say for them free agency is not about the money, it’s about winning/fit/style of play. Then they go to the team that gives them the most money, even if it’s not very good or plays a style that doesn’t fit with their game.
That said, as players get along in the league, winning does matter more and some players will sacrifice dollars for rings.
Derrick Rose is a free agent this summer, and both his agent and Rose himself said that finding a winning team is what will guide the process.
“Derrick wants to win,” Rose’s agent B.J. Armstrong told NBCSports.com as part of a PBT Podcast (which will drop Friday morning). “That’s who he is, whether he’s playing pick-and-roll or not. In the end, what I found as a player, what I found as an agent, is it’s much easier to play when you’re winning….
“This is his first time, in his nine years of playing in the league, that he’ll actually have an opportunity to select the people he thinks he can work best with. As long as you’re playing in a good spot and healthy, money and the rest of it will take care of itself. Where you get in trouble in this league is when you start trying to do things strictly for money.”
Here is what Rose himself said about his free agency this summer, via ESPN.
“Not even thinking money. I’ve got more than enough money saved. If I stopped playing basketball now, I’ll be all right,” Rose told reporters in Utah on Wednesday night. “I want to win. I want to be happy and feel at peace with myself wherever I’m at. But being at the negotiating table, you never know. I’m not going to negotiate with people where money is the No. 1 thing I’m asking for. I want to win.”
It’s going to be an interesting market for Rose, the number of “winning” or quality teams in need of a point guard and with enough cap space to sign Rose is a limited market. Rose can play off the ball, despite still not having a jumper to be feared, but will he accept that role — and maybe a lesser role, sixth man kind of role — to be on a winning team? He may be able to get more money and have a bigger role, but not on a team that seems playoff bound.
While he has said he would love to stay in New York and the Knicks have not given up on the idea of re-signing him, if they are committed to the triangle offense that may be an awkward fit (and it’s not exactly a winning team). The sands will shift this summer and something will open up, but where Rose lands and for how much is one of the more interesting questions out there.
Does winning matter more than money and touches? He says so. His agent said so. We’ll see what happens when the money hits the negotiating table.