Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue is convinced that point guard Derrick Rose can still regain the form that won him the MVP trophy in 2011, saying he’s been doing great in the first week of training camp. In an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Lue said he believes that Rose is capable of recapturing his glory days with the Chicago Bulls before his career was sidetracked by injuries. Lue added that having Rose on the floor and seeing his outstanding attitude and work ethic “has been great.”

During training camp, Lue said he discovered other facets of Rose’s game such as his passing ability.

“I didn't know he was such a great passer. He makes a lot of great passes,” said Lue, adding that he also witnessed Rose’s explosiveness to the basket and his ability to get his teammates involved, especially the Cavs’ shooters.

Injuries derailed Rose’s career

In 2011, Rose edged LeBron James and Dwight Howard for the MVP trophy in just his third season in the league. The following year, Rose tore his ACL in the opening round of the playoffs. Since then, Rose has not played a full NBA season. In the last five years, Rose has missed 164 games, including 18 outings last season with the New York Knicks. Rose signed a one-year deal with a veteran’s minimum salary to revive his career after he didn’t receive huge offers in the offseason.

However, Rose said it’s never about the money, saying he is “having fun playing basketball again.”

Rose was expected to serve as Kyrie Irving’s backup but his role changed after the All-Star point guard was traded to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick, and a 2020 second-round pick.

With Thomas still out with a hip injury, Rose is guaranteed to play the starting playmaker’s role until he returns. Aside from Lue, Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson also expressed excitement about Rose, saying the team got a steal by signing him to a veteran minimum deal.

Cavs could use Love as center

According to Lue, he was planning to consider using Kevin Love at center this season with the arrival of Crowder, a versatile forward.

The Cavaliers now have versatility on defense since acquiring Crowder, who can defend and play power forward. Using Love at center could give the Cavaliers an edge over opponents with his outside shooting. The 6-foot-10 Love averaged 19.0 points and 11.1 boards with a 37-percent clip from three-point range. Thompson, who averaged 8.1 points and 9.2 boards last season, could shift to power forward or backup Love. During training camp, Lue used veteran Dwyane Wade as a backup point guard and the anchor of the second unit alongside Kyle Korver, Iman Shumpert, Jeff Green, and Tristan Thompson.