There are new NBA rumors that suggest the New York Knicks’ Derrick Rose could end up with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rose is going to become a free agent for the first time in his career this coming summer and could be reunited with his former Chicago Bulls coach. He’ll be coming off season-ending surgery due to a meniscus tear he suffered in his left knee. His most recent season was another disappointing one for the former league MVP, but a move to the Timberwolves could give him a fresh start playing alongside some of the rising stars in the league including Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns.
On Wednesday afternoon, ESPN reported that league sources indicated the Minnesota Timberwolves have an interest in signing Rose during free agency. It’s mentioned that Rose, as well as his agent, former NBA guard B.J. Armstrong, have said he’d be interested in re-signing with the Knicks. However, the lure of Rose playing under Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau may convince him to change teams. Rose played the bulk of his career with the Chicago Bulls where Thibodeau was the head coach from 2010 through 2015. During that time, Rose won the MVP Award in the 2011 season and the team had several playoff runs.
Sources indicated that it’s unknown which other teams may be interested in Rose as a free agent, but the San Antonio Spurs have also popped up as a potential team for him. Back in March, NBA.com reported that Derrick Rose said his top priority when making a free agency decision would be “winning” rather than money.
“I want to win. I want to be happy and feel at peace with myself wherever I’m at. But being at the negotiating table, you never know. I’m not going to negotiate with people where money is the No. 1 thing I’m asking for. I want to win.”
The New York Knicks finished this past NBA season with a disappointing 31-51 record, failing to make the playoffs despite bringing in Rose along with former Bulls teammate Joakim Noah during the offseason. The team seems to be heading towards a rebuilding phase which could mean the departure of longtime star Carmelo Anthony via trade or another move. Meanwhile, Kristaps Porzingis, a player thought to be the future franchise star, has had his own issues regarding how he feels the team’s direction is going.
For the 2016-17 NBA season, Rose averaged 18 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game. For his career, Rose has averages of 19.5 points, six assists, and 3.7 rebounds per contest. The former Memphis player now has seven years of experience in the league, making him a valuable asset to a team like Minnesota as they groom their future stars. The team has had Ricky Rubio as their main point guard but could look to change things up by moving Rubio, and bringing in Rose, along with another new player via the 2017 NBA Draft.
This past season, the Minnesota Timberwolves also finished at 31-51, just like New York. However, this roster has continued to show that they are a young, rapidly improving team. Although one of their talents, Zach LaVine, was lost for a good portion of the season near the All-Star break, other players continue to step up. Karl-Anthony Towns has become one of the top big men in the league and will be entering just his third season.
Towns averaged 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game to lead the team in the 2016-17 season. In addition, young star Andrew Wiggins is the second-leading scorer with 23.6 per game, followed by LaVine at 18.9 per game. After that, Rubio was averaging just 11.1 and Gorgui Dieng 10 points per game.
Both the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves will have lottery picks in June’s NBA Draft. The Timberwolves will select seventh overall, while the Knicks have the pick right after them. Right now, the Draft Express NBA mock draft suggests that Minnesota will go after forward Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac, and the Knicks may select point guard Dennis Smith out of North Carolina State.
While both teams have the potential to upgrade their rosters via the 2017 NBA Draft, it seems out of the two squads that the Minnesota Timberwolves have put together a young core of talent that is getting closer to the playoffs than the Knicks. If winning is really what Derrick Rose wants, joining this up and coming squad under his former coach just seems to make the most sense as his next move.
[Featured Image by Mike Stobe/Getty Images]