Derrick Rose is taking time away from the Cavaliers to figure out what his future NBA path looks like, and if he wants to go down that road. The former MVP has been a shell of his former self following four knee surgeries, and this season was out six games in a row with an ankle injury before the one he missed Friday night away from the team (the Cavaliers won every one of those games with him out). Rose has said before he wants to be able to walk after he’s done playing, not just run his body into the ground. Rose reportedly, and understandably, is tired of his body betraying him and the seemingly endless rehab efforts.
Is Rose really going to walk away from the NBA at age 29?
Probably not, and there are 80 million reasons why.
Will another team want him beyond this season? That is a different question.
Rose likely will not just retire this season because, while he is on a veteran minimum contract with the Cavaliers, Adidas is still paying him a lot of money. A LOT of money. Nick DePaula of ESPN explains.
As he continues to “re-evaluate his future in the NBA” while away from the Cleveland Cavaliers, point guard Derrick Rose could potentially be leaving more than $80 million of Adidas endorsement money on the table should he decide to retire outright…
If Rose files retirement paperwork with the league, the terms of any remaining years on the Adidas deal will not be paid out. Even though Rose’s star power has faded in recent years, Adidas has been contractually obligated to continue producing and marketing a DRose signature sneaker each year. Rose had been wearing the DRose 8 model this season.
Before the injuries, Rose sold a lot of shoes and Adidas paid him to be the face of their brand. Then came the knee injuries that robbed him of both his explosiveness and, with it, his shoe sales.
Rose has plenty of money in the bank, but still who is walking away from a potential $80 million?
The question is, will teams still want him? He can create off the dribble and get buckets still (although not at the rate he used to), but he is a massive defensive liability. The Cavaliers defense is 12.6 points per 100 possessions better with Rose off the court this season (and the offense is 4.1 per 100 better when he’s out). Chris Mannix of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports talked to some scouts and executives who are not convinced there is much demand.
“He’s been terrible,” a scout told Yahoo Sports earlier this month. “That’s the point of attack. If you can’t stop the ball, you can’t stop anybody. And he isn’t defending the ball at all. If you put him in a pick-and-roll, you are guaranteed to get any shot that you want.”…
He could return to Cleveland, finish the season, and enter free agency next summer radioactive. The market — already dry for a faded former star — will become barren. Said a longtime NBA executive, “He’s become Deron Williams.”
My guess is Rose could land another minimum contract as a backup point guard (which is what the Cavaliers thought his role would be, it just grew with Isaiah Thomas out for the first couple of months). But maybe not. And maybe Rose is okay with that.