In one of this year’s NBA trade deadline blockbusters, the Cleveland Cavaliers sent Derrick Rose to the Utah Jazz in a three-team trade with the Sacramento Kings. Rose, together with Jae Crowder, moved to the Jazz, Joe Johnson and Iman Shumpert went to the Kings, and Rodney Hood and George Hill joined the Cavs.
However, Rose may not play a single minute in Utah as the Jazz are reportedly planning to release the former league MVP. Bleacher Report indicated that Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey had already “confirmed” reports that the three-time NBA All-Star “will be released and free to pursue a new opportunity” following his acquisition.
Rose, 29, was on a veteran’s minimum deal with the Cavs and is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer anyway. He played just 16 games for head coach Tyronn Lue this season due to various injuries. The former No. 1 overall pick averaged career-lows in all categories with 9.8 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in only 19.3 minutes per game for Cleveland.
While reports abound that Rose will indeed be relinquished by Utah, the New York Times’ Marc Stein said that the Minnesota Timberwolves are interested in signing him as soon as he had cleared waivers.
Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau was Rose’s former mentor during his Chicago Bulls days when injuries had not yet robbed him of his best form. If D-Rose decides to move to Minnesota, he will join his former Bulls teammates Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson in playing again under Thibodeau.
Thibodeau handled Rose for four seasons in Chicago beginning the 2010-2011 season up until his firing in May 2015. Rose won the MVP award in 2011, averaging career-highs in points (25.0), rebounds (4.1), and steals (1.0) while also dishing out 7.7 assists per game.
This time, though, it is evident that Rose, after multiple surgeries on both of his knees and many other parts of his body, is not the same player Thibodeau helped blossom into an MVP-caliber player back then.
NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman reported that the Wolves are unlikely to face any “significant competition” for Rose’s signature. Feldman said that with Rose unable to defend, shoot threes, and facilitate plays effectively, playing him “ahead of second-string point guard Tyus Jones” would be “far worse” than Minnesota using their vacant roster spot to sign him.
Feldman also opined that Rose’s presence might also create unwanted locker room tension for the Wolves. Rose has a history of butting heads with Butler when they were still together in Chicago. Although this time, the Wolves are clearly Butler’s team.