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3 ideal destinations in free agency for Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose

The 2018-19 NBA season was mostly positive for Derrick Rose. Though he played in only 51 games, Rose displayed the explosiveness and scoring that made him the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2011. If the NBA had a Comeback Player of the Year award, he would be the front-runner to win it.

Rose averaged 18.0 points and 4.3 assists in 27.3 minutes per game of playing time with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Being around former teammates (Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Luol Deng) and his old coach, Tom Thibodeau, made him feel comfortable as he was given the freedom to play his game. Because of his resurgence, many are now wondering what the future holds for the point guard.

In July, Rose will be entertaining offers from different teams, including the Timberwolves, who may want to re-sign him to a longer contract:

“I haven’t talked to anyone about that yet, my agent hasn’t said anything,” Rose said in April, per CBS Minnesota’s Mike Max. “We’re busy right now promoting my documentary.”

He is, however, interested in discovering what other franchises think of him after a sensational season in which he scored a career-high 50 points against the Utah Jazz early in the season:

“I’m going to hear them out. I’m going to hear every team just to see what’s on my table,” he said.

Here are three ideal destinations for the soon-to-be free agent.

3. Boston Celtics

Some believe that Kyrie Irving will be gone this July after he opts out of the final year of his contract.

If the offseason plays out like this, Brad Stevens will need a new playmaker, and Rose would be a good fit for the Celtics. Rose played for a similarly strong defensive team in Chicago, and Stevens would give him the opportunity to play major minutes.

At the same time, Rose’s knowledge of the game would be beneficial to young point guard Terry Rozier, who could stick around as the starter if Kyrie winds up leaving.

2. Houston Rockets

As good as Chris Paul is, he needs a capable backup who will not only spell him for a few minutes a game but also who can take over for him whenever he’s out with an injury. In last year’s playoffs against the Golden State Warriors, Paul injured his hamstring toward the end of Game 5, forcing the Rockets to play without their All-Star playmaker in the last two games of the Western Conference Finals.

If Rose had been Paul’s backup last season, it’s possible that the Rockets would have made it to the NBA Finals.

Paul missing a number of games, whether in the regular season or in the playoffs, is basically a given at this point. The question is whether he has a quality backup behind him. After a resurgent season, Rose would be a welcome sight for Rockets fans if he signs on to play in Houston.

With the Rockets, Rose would be guaranteed a chance to compete for a championship with a team built to win now. His ability to score and create for others would be a welcome sight on the Houston bench.

1. Chicago Bulls

This is Rose’s best option. He absolutely has to return to the team that drafted him and where he had his greatest success. In the aforementioned MVP season, the electric point guard led the Bulls to the NBA’s best record and almost made it to the Finals, but lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

To this day, Rose has a loyal following in Chicago, where he became the city’s biggest star since Michael Jordan. That MVP year was so special the fans kept hoping they would see No. 1 back to his old form eventually despite the number of injuries he suffered after that. Without the injuries, it’s unlikely the Bulls would have let him go.

The Bulls are in a youth movement with Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr., Wendell Carter Jr. and Kris Dunn at the center of management’s rebuilding efforts, but that doesn’t mean Rose doesn’t fit with these youngsters. Every young team needs a veteran voice in the locker room, and who better than a former Bull to guide them. The Bulls are also looking for a point guard upgrade, so Rose would fit the bill there.

It would be a terrific story if Rose somehow helped these Bulls back to the playoffs.