Their interest in the 28-year-old point guard stems from his connection with coach/executive Tom Thibodeau, who coached Rose for five years in Chicago, including his MVP season in 2010/11. The teams had trade talks prior to the deadline involving Rose and Ricky Rubio, although nothing was worked out. Minnesota has roughly $22MM in cap space to spend this summer.
Entering free agency for the first time in his career, Rose should be completely recovered from a meniscus tear in his left knee that ended his season in early April. It’s the latest in a string of injuries that have plagued him over the past six years, although he was able to play 66 and 64 games the past two seasons.
Rose was part of a blockbuster trade that sent him from Chicago to New York last summer, but his first season in New York was seen as a disappointment. He averaged 18 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds, but the Knicks won just 31 games, there were persistent questions about his defense and he briefly left the team without explanation in January.
Rose has said he is willing to stay in New York, but there have been conflicting reports about the team’s interest in keeping him.
“He enjoyed playing here even with the losses, which of course surprises us because he’s been on some very successful teams,” said Knicks president Phil Jackson. “But he wants to redeem himself as a player. Which I like that attitude. I like who Derrick represents as himself. He’s very direct about taking on a big challenge.”
Begley adds that San Antonio may also be a potential landing spot for Rose, depending what happens with other free agent point guards.
Rose told reporters this week that winning, not money, will be the priority in selecting his next team.