How important will Derrick Rose be for the Cleveland Cavaliers?

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 25: Derrick Rose
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 25: Derrick Rose /

Reports have it Derrick Rose is “killing it” in workouts. How integral will his role be on the Cavaliers this season?

When Derrick Rose signed for the league minimum on July 25, it seemed like a low-risk move for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Pay him two million dollars and gain an experienced point guard who, at his best, is one of the best.

Obviously, Rose hasn’t been at that level in a while, but the Cavs added a low-cost playmaker who can be brilliant. And now, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin is reporting Rose is “killing it” in workouts.

Just before Rose’s signing, Kyrie Irving began the divorce process with LeBron and Cleveland, but it was still unknown if Irving would stay with the Cavs. Now, we know that he won’t be, and we know Cleveland will be without their new electric point guard, Isaiah Thomas, for at least a couple of months.

Hear that? It’s opportunity knocking for the talented, oft-injured 28-year-old Rose.

Yesterday, on “The Jump,” Dave McMenamin pointed out that Rose has looked good in workouts, while also cautioning that he may appear dominant facing the likes of NBA defensive wizards José Calderón and Kay Felder.

Regardless, Rose will be a key piece to the Cavs success this season, especially in the beginning as Thomas nurses his injured hip.

Even when Thomas returns, Rose will still be a key factor. Thomas plays slightly fewer minutes than Irving (career 30 minutes per game versus 34) and Rose will be expected to, at a minimum, fill in the gaps that Thomas is on the bench.

Plus, in a winning environment, might the former NBA MVP return to his once-dizzying ability? Four knee injuries later, probably not. But if you listen to him, we may all be in for a Derrick Rose Reprise.

Last month, he told the Chicago Tribune that he’s betting on himself, saying, “When I get on a good team and I’m still hooping the same way, what are you going to say then? The only thing that you can say is that I can still play.”

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We won’t have to wait long to see Rose in action with his new team. In the Cavaliers opener against the Celtics, it is likely Rose who will start. Whether it will be 2011 Derrick Rose, injured-and-distracted Derrick Rose or a new version of him is yet to be seen.