The Timberwolves are very interested in re-signing free agent guard Derrick Rose, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Rose turned into a valuable reserve after coming to Minnesota following a late-season buyout. He played just nine regular season games for the Wolves, but became a force in the playoffs, averaging 14.2 points and making seven of 10 3-pointers in the series with the Rockets.
Rose also played well defensively and proved himself to be a good teammate, Krawczynski adds, two attributes he didn’t display during his time in Cleveland. Minnesota’s only concern in bringing Rose back is his injury history, as he was sidelined for a while with a sprained ankle after joining the Wolves. Rose has excelled under Tom Thibodeau and wants to be with a coach he trusts after five unsettled seasons.
Krawczynski offers more insight into the Timberwolves in a mailbag column:
- A return by Rose would continue to limit the playing time for Tyus Jones, who saw his minutes decline after the Rose signing. Without roster changes, Jones would enter his fourth season as the third point guard on the depth chart.
- The front office may consider an Andrew Wiggins trade if the Wolves can find a better fit in return. The team needs to quickly take steps to become a serious contender with Jimmy Butler entering his option year, Krawczynski states, and dealing Wiggins or Gorgui Dieng might be necessary to make that happen. Both players have large contracts that will make them difficult to unload. A max extension for Wiggins kicks in next season, and Dieng is owed nearly $48.7MM over the next three seasons. Wiggins’ trade value is low coming off an underwhelming fourth NBA season, and Krawczynski thinks the franchise may decide to hold onto him and hope he can develop into an All-Star.
- One suggested deal would send Wiggins to the Raptors as part of a package for DeMar DeRozan, but there’s no evidence that Toronto is ready for a roster shakeup, even after firing coach Dwane Casey. A Butler-DeRozan combination would have many of the same issues as Butler and Wiggins, Krawczynski notes, including a lack of 3-point shooting.
- Don’t count on veteran guard Jamal Crawford returning for another season, even though Butler would prefer to keep him. The 38-year-old complained this season about Thibodeau’s reluctance to use his bench, and things are unlikely to change as Crawford gets older.