Rose is currently averaging 17.7 points and 4.5 assists per game on 46.2 percent shooting in his first season in New York, but with the Knicks on the outside of the playoff picture and Rose set to be a free agent at season’s end, they can be forgiven for gauging what they may get in return in a potential trade.
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Begley’s report says a number of teams are interested in discussing a deal with New York, one of which is the Timberwolves.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Wolves are among the teams inquiring about Rose, as current head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau has a long and detailed history with Rose.
Thibodeau served as Rose’s head coach for five seasons in Chicago where they went to the playoffs every season, including a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011. Rose was a three-time All-Star under Thibodeau and also won his lone MVP award under his guidance. Thibs compiled a winning percentage of .647 across his five seasons in Chicago, the majority of which came with Rose at the 1-spot.
The duo has certainly had success in the past, but would they experience that same success if they were to reunite in Chicago?
Thibodeau and the Wolves have supposedly been searching for a point guard for awhile now. This means that Minnesota isn’t talking to the Knicks about Rose for reunion’s sake, but rather, the team has identified a need and Derrick Rose just happens to fit that mold.
It’s currently unclear what the Wolves would give up as part of any Rose deal, but it would make sense to include current Minnesota starting point guard Ricky Rubio in any kind of trade.
If a deal were to happen between the Knicks and Wolves, the big question would be whether or not Rose can play effectively with Karl-Anthony Towns. During his tenure in the NBA, Rose hasn’t really played with a talent quite like Towns. Sure, he has teamed up with some ultra-talented big men over the years, but none that featured the skill set that Towns has.
Joakim Noah is a completely different player in that he barely demands the ball, and when he does, it’s to facilitate players around him. Kristaps Porzingis has a much more perimeter-orientated game than Towns, which changes the whole look of the court.
The closest player to Towns that Derrick Rose has played with is 2010-13 version of Carlos Boozer, and that’s saying something. The only way he is similar to Towns is that he was allocated a large chunk of possessions down low, but the offense still ran through Rose and Boozer didn’t have anywhere near the versatility, athleticism or dexterity that Towns has.
If Rose is to join the Wolves and thrive, he will have to show his ability to play with a truly dominant big man.
Another aspect of any potential deal is how Rose would fit with Andrew Wiggins and, when healthy, Zach LaVine on the perimeter.
Rose currently features a usage rate this season of 26.2 percent. If you combine his usage rate with both Wiggins‘ and LaVine’s this season, it comes out at 76.1 percent. Add in Towns‘ percentage and the total usage rate between the four players tops out at 103.5 percent this season.
Now, obviously LaVine is done for the season due to tearing his ACL a few weeks ago, and even if healthy, all four players won’t share the court at all times. However, all four players like to have the ball in their hands and get shots up, which may cause some issues in the future if a trade does come about.
While the Wolves are reportedly searching the league for an established, veteran point guard, they may have one on the roster already in Ricky Rubio.
The case can certainly be made that Rubio is a better fit alongside Towns and Wiggins, acting as a facilitator and not taking any shots away from those players. He is also locked away on a reasonable contract that will see him earn approximately $14 million a season until the end of the 2018-19, while Rose is due to be a free agent this summer.
If the Wolves want a point guard for the next few seasons while Kris Dunn develops, Rubio can guarantee he will be in Minnesota, while Rose cannot. The cost of re-signing Rose will be high, making him a potential risk as a two-month rental who won’t bridge the gap until Dunn is truly ready.
Derrick Rose is obviously a much better scorer than Rubio and, at the end of the day, offers the Wolves another option on offense. His experience in big games could also be beneficial to this young Minnesota squad that can’t seem to hold onto leads late in games. Rose’s familiarity with head coach Tom Thibodeau suggests a seamless transition if a deal were to happen, but Rubio still offers up a better fit alongside Towns and Wiggins.