If Derrick Rose's absence from the Cleveland Cavaliers ends with him hanging it up rather than returning to the team, LeBron James says he only hopes that Rose finds peace in his decision.

"We want, whatever he decides to do, we want the best for him," James said following the Cavs' 100-99 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday. "At the end of the day, you can't substitute nothing for happiness. And obviously, we know the injuries that he's been going through his whole career. We hope this ain't the end, but if it is, I was happy I got an opportunity to spend a couple months with him and watch him be the great point guard that he once was.

"But at the end of the day, a clearer head, there's no substitute for that. We want the best for Derrick. ... No matter if he comes back, no matter if he doesn't, we want him as an individual, as a man, as a father to be just happy with whatever decision he makes."

League sources told ESPN on Friday that Rose has left the team and is seriously re-evaluating his future in the NBA. There is growing uncertainty inside and outside the franchise about whether he will return to the team, the sources said.

Rose has missed 11 of the Cavs' 18 games this season, including the past seven because of a sprained left ankle. One team source told ESPN of Rose: "He's tired of being hurt, and it's taking a toll on him mentally."

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said he "expects" Rose to return but did not offer up a timetable as to when that would occur.