Derrick Rose is set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career, with a big decision regarding his future ahead.
The former Rookie of the Year's career hasn't quite been the same since he injured his knee during an opening-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers. He was traded to the New York Knicks last summer and had a solid season.
Then he suffered another season-ending knee injury, going down with a meniscus tear in his left knee that required surgery. His future seems to be in limbo once again, but one team filled with up-and-coming talent is interested in giving him another opportunity.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have Rose on their radar heading into free agency, sources told Ian Begley of ESPN. The Timberwolves would add the 28-year-old guard to a team featuring some great young talent in Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach LaVine.
Rose doesn't necessarily fit into the Timberwolves' timetable, though. The last time Minnesota was in the playoffs was 2004, the longest playoff drought in the entire NBA. With knee injuries piling on and the clock ticking, Minnesota doesn't match what Rose said he's looking for as a free agent.
"I want to win. I want to be happy and feel at peace with myself wherever I'm at. But being at the negotiating table, you never know. I'm not going to negotiate with people where money is the No. 1 thing I'm asking for. I want to win," Rose said of his priorities in March.
The Knicks are undecided on whether they'll try to bring Rose back, and they also have the Carmelo Anthony conundrum to figure out in the next few months. Knicks President Phil Jackson had this to say about Rose during his exit interview with media.
"He enjoyed playing here even with the losses, which of course surprises us because he's been on some very successful teams. 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," Jackson said.
The Timberwolves would definitely provide him a chance to redeem himself, becoming a key piece for a team that hasn't seen the playoffs in over a decade. The talents of Towns and Wiggins would help alleviate the need for Rose to overcompensate.
It would also reunite Rose with his former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, whom he enjoyed his best seasons under when he was one of the NBA's rising stars in Chicago. Free agency begins on July 1, and Rose's future is one of the most interesting stories to follow.