Well, it’s going to be a long summer of Ricky Rubio rumors (as always) and alleged interest in unrestricted free agent point guard, Derrick Rose.
The Wolves, according to Ian Begley—who covers the Knicks for ESPN—view Tom Thibodeau’s former star in Chicago as a target this summer.
The Timberwolves view PG Derrick Rose as a free agent target this summer, league sources tell ESPN. More here: https://t.co/k7pa1gsoHm— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 24, 2017
In regards to the Rose-to-Minnesota rumors, all I can say is: no thanks. It makes no sense. Next!
What is Rose going to bring to the Wolves? He hasn’t been the same player since 2012 and nobody can reasonably expect him to make it through an entire season smoothly with his extensive injury history. He brings nothing to the table as a perimeter threat—look at those beautiful 13 three-pointers in 64 games this season (21.7 percent)—and grades out as a negative defender according to his -2.2 DBPM and -2.35 DRPM (#441 among all qualified players in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus Minus). Say whatever you want about the reliability of these defensive metrics, but we know his numbers look bad and nobody is out there talking about Rose’s strong defensive abilities against the league’s best guards.
For a team (the Wolves) looking for shooting and defense, Rose provides neither. Great, so why would Thibodeau and Scott Layden (GM) ever be interested in bringing him on board? The only boxes he checks are the veteran box and the familiarity box, but that’s hardly a good reason to sign anyone. Point guard isn’t even a position of need with Ricky Rubio, Kris Dunn, and Tyus Jones in the fold. Wing defenders, toughness, veteran leadership, and shooting are real needs. Even if it were, Rose is hardly the player the organization should be looking at if they want to go in a different direction at point guard, and that’s to say nothing about his questionable character. This is what makes the constant rumors both frustrating to read and almost unbelievable.
Again, no thanks. Rose is not the type of player or person this franchise should be trying to sign during this crucial offseason which they can absolutely not afford to screw up.
The only reason to put any stock (but not much) into these reports is because they continue to pop up (I don’t feel like talking about the recent trade deadline at the moment) and maybe Thibs really does want to reunite with his former point guard who ran the show for those Bulls teams. Maybe he is blinded by past success and desperately wants to rekindle a once bright and promising relationship. Perhaps Thibs thinks deep down in his basketball junkie soul that he can revive Rose’s broken down career and bring out the old D-Rose. Or maybe B.J. Armstrong (Rose’s agent) is trying to drum up interest for his client behind the scenes.
A majority of rumors that popped up surrounding the Wolves last summer had them chasing Thibodeau’s former players, like Loul Deng and Joakim Noah, but those guys landed in Los Angeles and New York on big deals that looked bad at the time and even worse now. The Wolves likely opted out of those negotiations due to the risky long-term commitments, or they might not have had as much interest as everyone was led to believe. It’s probably somewhere in between. My takeaway is that Rose, like Deng and Noah, is another ex-Bulls player who has become easy to link to the Wolves given the history between him and the President of Basketball Operations now calling the shots in Minneapolis (Thibs). Thus, the rumors will persist this summer.
But it wouldn’t be shocking if Thibs wants Rose because he actually believes he can turn things around in his system and be an overall asset to the organization as they look to end the playoff drought. I disagree with that feeling wholeheartedly but it’s completely possible that’s how Thibs feels. And ultimately it’s his call over everyone else’s.
If the Wolves do decide to move on from Rubio once and for all in the coming months—not a decision I would endorse in the slightest—than maybe a cheap one-year “prove it” deal for Rose will be in the works, allowing him and Thibodeau an attempt at turning things around together. Again, I would not entertain the idea of bringing Rose to the 612 for even a second, but the outcome is certainly a possibility and should not go ignored.
We will definitely (read: unfortunately) have more Rose and Rubio coverage in the coming months. Stay tuned...