Wolves’ Thibodeau says Rose is ‘a great fit for us’

Derrick Rose says that his time in Cleveland was a struggle with the Cavs

The Minnesota Timberwolves re-signed veteran point guard Derrick Rose on a one-year contract worth $2.3 million and head coach Tom Thibodeau says the former MVP is an important player for the team.

Thibodeau, who coached Rose with the Chicago Bulls from 2010-2015, took a chance on Rose after the guard was traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers and waived by the Utah Jazz this past season. The signing came with a horde of criticism from Wolves fans and media members, as many thought Rose had nothing left in the tank and would be a cancer to the team.

Rose was minimally used in the nine regular-season games he played with Minnesota. He posted 5.8 points in about 12 minutes per game.

Rose’s role, however, changed during the playoffs and he delivered in a big way.

The explosive guard averaged 14.2 points while shooting an efficient 50.9 percent from the field and 70 percent from three in his five postseason games, playing roughly 24 minutes a contest. Rose showed off that quick first step and league scouts continue to marvel at is his elite ability to get to the rim at will and finish in heavy traffic — even after enduring four knee surgeries.

“We knew how important he was,” Thibodeau said Tuesday. “The way he finished up the season, he was a great fit for us. With Derrick it’s all about health. This summer, he’s not rehabbing an injury and he’s already been attacking his workouts. You want guys that can go downhill and attack and I think we saw that in the playoffs.”

The Wolves’ offense benefited from Rose’s presence on the floor. The team had an offensive rating of 119.1 when Rose was playing during the postseason compared to 97.0 when he was on the bench.