Father Time is undefeated. As NBA players age they lose athleticism, agility and the ability to bounce back from injuries. It happens to every player, and while All-Stars have a talent level high enough to still make an impact as they age, eventually even they pass out of being a useful NBA player.
Finding the right time to add an aging player is a difficult proposition. Do you sign a former All-Star based on their past performance, or avoid them because of their age? That threading of the needle sometimes goes well, and sometimes it does not.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have made the attempt multiple times, and it hasn’t always worked out in their favor. Here are seven times the Cavs signed a former All-Star and found out the effects of Father Time were too much to overcome.
No. 7 – Derrick Rose, 2017
The 2017-18 Cleveland Cavaliers built an entirely new team around the core of LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith. With Kyrie Irving forcing his way off the team and LeBron only one year away from free agency, the pressure was on to find on-ball creation and help at point guard.
That led the Cavs to sign Derrick Rose in free agency. The former MVP was only 29 years old when the season began, but multiple devastating leg injuries had left Rose as something much less than he was before. While Rose has reinvented himself as a sharpshooting combo guard in recent years, at that point his game hadn’t adjusted.
The high-flying point guard act didn’t work for Rose’s body and he was a disaster with the Cavs, who dumped him at the Trade Deadline. He ended up playing only 16 games, shooting 43.5 percent from the field and 25 percent from deep with more turnovers (28) than assists (26).