Minnesota Timberwolves: Derrick Rose deserves Sixth Man of the Year award

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 31: Derrick Rose #25 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 31: Derrick Rose #25 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Derrick Rose has enjoyed a comeback season with the Minnesota Timberwolves this year, and he deserves the hardware that celebrates the best player in his role: the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.

A couple of years ago, you wouldn’t be alone in thinking Derrick Rose was perhaps on his way out of the league.

After all, Rose’s career has been marred by unfortunate injuries and off-court issues, and it was just last season that Rose was traded from Cleveland and waived by Utah.

Then, Tom Thibodeau made one of the best moves of his tenure as the then-Wolves boss brought Rose to Minnesota, where he re-signed on a one-year deal over the summer.

We have no idea whether Rose will be around next season or beyond; he’ll certainly have other suitors willing to pay more than the veteran minimum deal he’s currently on, and how high the Wolves are willing to go to bring him back is a question on its own.

But whether or not Rose returns for next season doesn’t negate how he’s performed this season, and how that has revitalized his career.

In 50 games this season, Rose is averaging 18.3 points, 4.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 27.7 minutes, starting 13 of those appearances. He’s easily the Wolves’ leading scorer off the bench, occasionally running the point while mostly playing off the ball next to Tyus Jones, who is much more of a facilitator than Rose.

Rose has actually taken over as the favorite to win Sixth Man according to FanDuel, who has him ranked over Lou Williams due to his comeback-story narrative.

Williams is currently posting a better stat-line than Rose, although he arguably has a better opportunity to put up numbers in his role with the Clippers. Williams will surely be Rose’s biggest challenger for the award.

Williams is averaging 20.2 points, 5.4 assists and 3 rebounds in 26.6 minutes, having come off the bench for all of his 61 appearances. Williams won the award last season, and previously in the 2014-15 season. Rose does manage better field goal, 3-point and effective field percentages than Williams, although the Clippers’ superior record may be another tick in Williams’ square.

In all likelihood, the Sixth Man award might actually be one of the closest for this season. Unless anything significant happens in the remainder of the season, it’ll likely be pretty close between these two for the title.


Rose obviously possesses the comeback season narrative, and that may be enough to get him over the finish line. His clutch play for the Timberwolves also makes him deserving of the award, as Rose seems to always be the player to go to in close situations.

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We still have the remainder of the season to see just how important to the Timberwolves Derrick Rose is off the bench, and a strong finish would only solidify Rose’s chances to land the award.