Team chemistry is a really big deal in sports, so adding a player like Derrick Rose with just 16 games left in the regular season – in the middle of a playoff push – is borderline crazy.
Plenty of questions need to be answered:
- How much does Rose have left in the tank?
- Is Rose going to steal minutes from Tyus Jones?
- Will Rose start or come off the bench?
- If he comes off the bench, will he be effective?
- What happens if/when Jimmy Butler comes back?
- Does Rose know the offensive and defensive sets?
Those are just some of the questions that immediately come to mind, and I've taken a look at the scenarios that emerge if Rose is a bench option or a starter.
If Rose is a reserve
Rose has come off the bench just 10 times in more than 500 career games, and if he comes off the bench in Minnesota he'll have to do so as the point guard or shooting guard, which almost certainly means fewer minutes for Jones and Jamal Crawford.
Crawford, one of the team's veteran leaders, has already made it clear that he signed with Minnesota under the impression that he would be playing more than he has this season.
If Butler does return from his meniscus surgery this season, Rose will without a doubt take minutes from Jones and Crawford.
If Rose starts
If Rose starts, he'll likely do so as an off-guard next to Jeff Teague, pushing Andrew Wiggins back to small forward, which essentially eliminates the matchup problems Wiggins creates when he starts at shooting guard.
In four games as the starting shooting guard since Butler was injured, Wiggins has averaged 23.5 points while shooting 50 percent from three.
In 64 games as the starting point guard with the Knicks last season, Rose averaged 18 points a game while flashing some of the explosiveness that made him great, but he did that as the No. 2 scoring option behind a fading Carmelo Anthony and just in front of then-rookie Kristaps Porzingas.
News flash: Rose ain't a No. 2 scoring option on this roster.
He can't just step into Minnesota's lineup and take 15+ shots a game when Karl-Anthony Towns, Wiggins and Teague are all averaging 20+ points per game since Butler went down.
And without providing much on the defensive end, signing Rose simply doesn't make much sense.
Thibodeau knows Rose better than most so this move will remain innocent until proven guilty, but it feels supremely illogical this late in the season.