Derrick Rose is reportedly “evaluating his future” in professional basketball after leaving his team in the middle of the season for the second straight campaign.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin reported Friday afternoon that Rose is “away from” the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are home in Ohio ahead of a Friday night meeting with the Charlotte Hornets. The former star Chicago Bulls point guard has been sidelined since Nov. 7 by a sprained left ankle that’s expected to keep him out for another couple of weeks. ESPN reports that Rose “has not been with the team for the better part of a week,” last joining the Cavs for their win over the Detroit Pistons on Monday.
According to Wojnarowski, the devastating and persistent injuries that have derailed the former No. 1 overall pick’s career since he became the youngest player ever to win Most Valuable Player honors in 2010-11 have become a difficult burden for the 29-year-old Rose to bear:
As one Cavaliers source tells ESPN about Rose: "He's tired of being hurt and it's taking a toll on him mentally."
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 24, 2017
The Cavaliers have excused Rose’s absence as he contemplates his future, according to ESPN. Back in January, while a member of the New York Knicks, Rose left the team before a game against the New Orleans Pelicans, but reportedly did not clear his absence. Team officials, teammates and coaches were unable to reach him, and were left wondering where he was.
After a confused and scattered Knicks team lost, badly, to the Pelicans at home, and after a night of questions about whether Rose’s departure meant the end of his brief tenure in New York, he returned. He said he’d left to travel to his native Chicago to deal with a “family situation.” The Knicks fined him for an unexcused absence during which he reportedly considered retirement, but welcomed him right back into the fold, reinserting him into the starting lineup for their next game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Rose finished out the season with the Knicks, averaging 18 points and 4.4 assists in 32.5 minutes per game in 64 appearances. When New York decided to go in a different direction at the point this summer, Rose wound up scoring a one-year deal with a Cavs team that needed more ball-handling bodies after trading Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, who has been out with a hip injury since May and still has yet to make his first appearance of the season.
Rose opened the season as Cleveland’s starting point guard, but quickly suffered an ankle injury that kept him out for four games. He returned to the lineup for an Oct. 29 matchup against the Knicks, averaging just under 27 minutes per game over his next five outings before going back on the shelf after a Nov. 5 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
After an early season full of defensive struggles and roster shuffling, the Cavs have finally found their footing in Rose’s absence. They lost a close contest to the red-hot Houston Rockets before ripping off six straight wins, outscoring the opposition by 9.3 points per 100 possessions during that span, the third-best mark in the league over the two-week winning streak.
The three-time All-Star is averaging 14.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 2.7 turnovers in 26.9 minutes per game over seven appearances for the Cavs.
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