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Why do the Wolves want Derrick Rose?

Could the Timberwolves pursuit of Derrick Rose have nothing to do with Rose at all?

What do the Minnesota Timberwolves want with Derrick Rose?

It's a question that has been asked frequently by many since the news broke Monday night that Minnesota had talks with the Knicks about trading for Rose.

Timberwolves fans seem less than enamored by the former NBA MVP, who spent seven seasons playing for Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau while both were in Chicago.

With the Wolves only 3.5 games out of the Western Conference playoffs, fans immediately assumed the trade would be made to help Minnesota end their 12-season playoff drought.

The answer – as ESPN's Brian Windhorst pointed out on a local radio show – couldn't be further from that.

"If this trade went down, and it's a big if, this would not be to invest in Derrick Rose at all," Windhorst told 1500 ESPN's Judd Zuglad. "Derrick Rose would simply satisfy the NBA trade rules. The trade would be to get rid or Ricky Rubio, forget about how (Rose would) fit. That's not why the Wolves would be doing the trade."

Rose's contract expires at the end of the season, while Rubio has two years and $28.9 million left on his contract, so the deal would give Minnesota some salary flexibility next season.

Another idea the Star Tribune's Michael Rand proposes, is that Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau may see some similarities between Rose and Wolves rookie Kris Dunn.

Rand speculates that Thibs may want to see how the Wolves offense looks with a score-first point guard who knows his system this season, before he turns things over to Dunn next year.

Whatever the reason, one thing is starting to seem obvious – the Wolves want to move Rubio.

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