CLEVELAND -- With coach Tyronn Lue and general manager Koby Altman describing recent contact with Derrick Rose as positive on Saturday, the point guard is expected to return to the Cavaliers.
Reports by Jason Lloyd of The Athletic and Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com said the team expected Rose back after he walked away on Nov. 22, with injuries prompting him to ponder his future in the league.
But the Cavs had no update on Rose on Sunday as they waited for a timeline for his return, according to Vardon.
Lue and the Cavs survived three tough weeks to start the season and are currently riding the NBA's longest active winning streak of 11 games. If Rose comes back, along with injured center Tristan Thompson, the challenges will begin anew.
Not only will the Cavs have to rebuild trust with Rose, but Lue must decide when to play him. A sprained left ankle has limited Rose to seven of the Cavs' 23 games.
Rose presumably will take over for 36-year-old Jose Calderon as the starting point guard until Isaiah Thomas returns from a torn labrum in his right hip, which is expected this month.
Rose has averaged 14.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 26.9 minutes, but the Cavs have played better without him. He believes he returned too soon after initially hurting the ankle in Game 2 at Milwaukee, which might contribute to the fact that Rose has recorded a positive plus/minus only twice.
Rose is 4-3 as a starter, but the Cavs are 3-0 when Rose posted a plus/minus of plus 9, plus 5 and 0 at Milwaukee, at Washington and at home against Milwaukee, respectively.
Calderon is averaging just 2.4 points per game but is 7-1 as a starter and his 1.5 assists nearly match Rose's. Both Rose and Calderon are defensive liabilities. Both are placeholders until Thomas makes his Cavs debut.
Then Rose will likely head to the second unit, where Dwyane Wade as established himself as the leader of that highly effective group.