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Report: Timberwolves to sign free agent Derrick Rose

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Tom Thibodeau is apparently not finished building the Minnesota TimberBulls.

NBA: Preseason-Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that Minnesota Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau has a soft spot for the players he coached during his stint with the Chicago Bulls.

One has to look no further than the current Wolves roste — Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Aaron Brooks all played key roles for Thibodeau’s Bulls team in the early 2010s that found some playoff success in the Eastern Conference.

Thibodeau has apparently decided to replicate that team as much as possible during his time in Minnesota. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Thursday morning that the Timberwolves will sign Derrick Rose for the rest of the 2017-18 season.

Injuries have plagued Rose’s career ever since his 2010-11 MVP campaign. Entering this season, Rose had played in 191 of a possible 410 games from the 2012-13 season through last season.

The addition of Rose is an interesting one, to say the least. Sure, Minnesota’s bench output needs a boost. But the weakest area of the bench has been production from the wings. Butler’s injury and the Shabazz Muhammad buyout have even forced 7-footer Nemanja Bjelica into primarily a wing role.

Instead of adding wing depth, Thibs added a ball-stopping, isolation guard to the bench — something he already has in Jamal Crawford. It’s unclear yet whether Rose will eat into Tyus Jones’s minutes as the backup point guard behind Jeff Teague, but one would hope that doesn’t happen.

Jones ranks fourth in ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus stat among all NBA point guards at 4.89 and has the team’s second-best net rating at 6.8, only behind Butler. Meanwhile, Rose’s -3.59 RPM ranks 92nd out of 100 qualifying guards and his net rating in 16 games with Cleveland this season is -5.3. Jones’s play style as an unselfish offensive initiator has served as a rare bright spot off the bench for the Timberwolves. The addition of Rose endangers that.

As soon as Utah waived Rose after acquiring him in a trade, rumors swirled about a potential reunion with Thibodeau. It took a bit longer than many expected, but it happened — and nobody is surprised.

One more thing — Go Skyforce.