The Minnesota Timberwolves signed point guard Derrick Rose last month, and there was plenty of (well-deserved) skepticism regarding the move. But things have taken a turn for the better of late.
It was not a surprise that the Timberwolves decided to add Derrick Rose back in March, considering that head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau was his coach for five seasons with the Chicago Bulls, including during his 2010-11 MVP campaign.
It did not seem like a move that made sense, however, considering that Rose is nowhere near the same player he was several years ago and has been injury-prone since then. The Wolves also had a solid backup in Tyus Jones.
Rose, though, has been a nice surprise for the Wolves in these playoffs.
The Wolves are down 3-1 to the Houston Rockets in the series, but Rose’s play since he was acquired has been impressive as of late, especially in the playoffs, where he’s averaged 14.8 pointsin 23.8 minutes per game.
He did show some flashes of his old self in the regular season as well.
He scored eight points on 4-of-9 shooting against the San Antonio Spurs in 15 minutes and 14 points the very next day against the Houston Rockets on 6-of-11 shooting in 19 minutes.
In Game 81 against the Memphis Grizzlies, a must-win for the Wolves, Rose scored 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting in 22 minutes.
He averaged 5.8 points a game in 12.4 minutes per game in nine games during the regular season. despite missing six games due to a sprained ankle.
It is no surprise that Rose has been receiving more minutes in the playoffs considering his experience and recent surge.
"“He’s huge for us. But he’s one of the guys that insists on playing hard, as well,” Jimmy Butler said. “He’s always working on his game. You see what he’s done in this league, and he can still do that at any point and time. He’s just a helluva player. And the crazy thing is, he’s so unselfish. Whatever you ask him to do — guard this guy, guard that guy, get a stop, get a bucket, get somebody else a bucket — he’s capable of doing that.”"
Will Rose be back next season? If it is up to him, he will be.
"“I would love to be back,” Rose said. “Do I want to play again next year? Yeah. I think I’m far away from being done, but it’s not up to me to take a chance on myself. I’m fully invested in myself; it’s up to the organization, the front office and the coaching staff to see that I’ve still got a lot left.”"
Given his recent play, bringing him back would be a good move especially at the right price. Even if the Wolves do not bring him back, he could still receive some interest from several other teams.
The acquisitions of veterans Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford played a huge role in the Wolves making it to the playoffs this year. Rose’s play in the playoffs has also helped. Despite being down 3-1, he has been one of their top performers this series and been one of their biggest reasons why the fan base has been re energized.
It does not look likely that the Wolves will win this series, but getting back to the playoffs has made this season fun, even if they did not reach the expectations of some.
And Rose’s play of late has certainly been one of the best stories of the year for this team.
Rose appeared in 16 games (seven starts) for the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this year, averaging 9.8 points per game 19.3 minutes per game. He was traded to the Utah Jazz on Feb. 8, released two days later, and signed with the Wolves on March 8.