The Los Angeles Lakers will make their best pitch to free agent point guard Derrick Rose during their meeting today in hopes to lure him away from signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Cavs held “serious talks” with Rose, as reported earlier today, but can only be signed to a minimum exception of $2.1 million per year or the mid-level exception of $2.5 million, which would still prove to be much less than the Lakers can offer, according to ESPN Insider Bobby Marks.
Los Angeles has a full $4.3 million per year mid-level room to offer Rose — considerably more than the Cavs can offer and without the need to break the bank, as Cleveland will be forced to do — costing them $14.1 million to get Rose on board considering the added luxury tax they’d have to shell out.
Rose reportedly “just wants to play ball,” according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, making this a race for the team that can define the best role for the former MVP moving forward.
The Lakers would likely be able to offer more playing time for Rose, as the core of young players will need a veteran on the court at all times, while the Cavs have a perennial All-Star in Kyrie Irving at the starting point guard position, making his only option for more minutes to play at shooting guard — a tough role given his ball-dominant style of play and his poor outside shooting.
This is largely viewed as the Lakers’ signing to lose, as they can offer the best situation for his play and the most money contractually, but it’ll all depend in the quality of pitches made by each organization if they hope to ensure his services.
Rose averaged 18 points per game — his highest scoring output since the year after his MVP season — adding 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game.