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The Cleveland Cavaliers and Derrick Rose are meeting on Monday to negotiate a deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The team sides have mutual interest in Rose signing a one-year minimum deal worth $2.1 million, but there has been no decision yet.
Minutes later, Bartelstein told The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach this: That was the goal, but now we’ve got to kind of regroup here a bit
Irving won an NBA All-Star starting nod via fan vote this year despite Isaiah Thomas, John Wall, and Kyle Lowry having superior cases. Irving was in the top five in jersey sales in 2017, as well, above every point guard peer except Stephen Curry. He has the second best-selling signature shoe in the NBA, behind only LeBron. In other words, he isn’t exactly toiling in obscurity.
All of that is why the Lakers would replace Russell for Ball so willingly, swapping a No. 2 pick for another No. 2 pick just two years later. Russell represents a conventional point guard, one who scores but maybe not efficiently enough, one who racks up assists but perhaps not enough to improve an offense by his mere presence. Add in Russell’s other concerns, and you can see why the Lakers moved quickly to ship him out of town. In Brooklyn, Russell can start over — something that could and should benefit all parties.
Ball, on the other hand, has the potential to make his teammates better with or without the ball in his hands. It’s still only summer league — questions about his ability to create looks and certainly his defensive abilities abound. But Ball’s play looks translatable.
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The biggest question is whether the way he plays basketball can be translated to his teammates, too. Los Angeles is betting that it can be.