The Timberwolves’ top target when the NBA’s free-agency period began at 11 p.m. Saturday, former league MVP Derrick Rose reached agreement with them on a one-year contract in the hour before the clock struck midnight, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.
Rose will be paid $2.393 million for the coming season.
The agreement keeps him with Wolves coach/President of Basketball Operations Tom Thibodeau, who coached him for five seasons, including his MVP award in 2011, with the Chicago Bulls.
Thibodeau signed him as a free agent in March and on Thursday indicated he’d be a high priority in free agency.
“We like the way he fit in,” Thibodeau said Thursday. “We felt he played really well in the playoffs and that’s sort of been his history. We’re going to go after as many as good players as we can.”
Teams could reach contract agreements with free agents starting late Saturday, but the contract cannot be finalized and signed until the NBA’s moratorium period ends Friday.
Rose played in only nine regular-season games with the Wolves, averaging 5.8 points and 12.4 minutes off the bench. That was after he averaged 9.8 points in 16 games, including seven starts, with Cleveland.
In the five-game playoff series with Houston, Rose’s playing time and production increased significantly, as he averaged 14.2 points, 2.6 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 23.8 minutes per game.