Derrick Rose headlines Sixth Man of the Year race
Derrick Rose is on a mission to prove that he can still play NBA Basketball.
Derrick Rose was drafted #1 overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2008 draft class and immediately proved he belonged in the NBA by winning the ROTY award. Two years later, on the Chicago Bulls, he was crowned the title of youngest MVP ever, notching 25 points per night and 7.7 assists.
During the 2012 NBA Playoffs, Windy City fans would be devastated as Derrick Rose tore his left ACL during a time he had no business playing through. The Bulls were up 12 against the 76ers with 1:20 left.
On June 22 2016, along with Justin Holiday and a second round pick (which would later turn out to be the impressive rookie Damyean Dotson), Derrick Rose was traded to the New York Knicks for Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant and Robin Lopez.
Phil Jackson, manager at the time of the Knicks, tried to use the idea of Kristaps Porzingis, Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose to attract Kevin Durant to their books. Unfortunately for Knicks fans, it did not work out. In 64 games, Rose played solid basketball, logging 18 points per game along with 4.4 assists.
In the following offseason, Derrick Rose, in a surprise signing, would find himself on the Cleveland Cavaliers roster to back up Isaiah Thomas (who was traded for one month ago). People all over social media were hailing Rose as the sixth man of the year before the season had even begun.
As we all know, that didn’t work out well at all. After just 16 games Rose was traded to the Utah Jazz in a three team trade, where he was ultimately released after the trade.
The Minnesota Timberwolves picked up Rose for the rest of the season, and eventually signed him again during the upcoming offseason.
Derrick Rose definitely has had one of the craziest careers up to this point, and it doesn’t stop here.
With the way the Windy City Assassin is playing, he could win his first ever sixth man of the year for the Timberwolves. In his first 29 games of the season, he has only started in 8 of them, backing up Jeff Teague for point guard position.
His scoring performances are extraordinary, going for a 50 point game this season against the Utah Jazz, and proving that he is a deadly threat from 3, averaging 45% from beyond the arc. In the first quart of the season he is averaging 19 points per, off the bench.
Let’s not forget his assisting, totaling to near 5 assists per game is impressive off the bench in an offensive-lacking bench unit.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are currently 14-17 (as of the creation of this article), as there have been struggles on the starting lineup (Saric/Covington traded for Butler), but it looks like the Timberwolves are prepared to turn it around with the addition of the two former 76ers.
In the meantime off the bench, Derrick Rose has done nothing but dug down and work on his game whenever he can to ensure that his team makes it to the playoffs, rather than focusing on self awards such as the potential sixth man award.
Derrick Rose could’ve potentially been in the running for most improved player (a dual award?), but since he only played 26 games the previous season, NBA rules deny him from being eligible for the award.
It’s too early to tell whether or not he can maintain this style of play, but from what we know of how far Derrick Rose will go, I’d say he’ll excel, and then some. His selfless style just adds to how impressive each new game is, despite it being a win or a loss.
What do you think? Do you think Derrick Rose can lead the Timberwolves to the playoffs, and alongside that win sixth man of the year?
Edit: forgot to add citation for last picture