KIRKLAND, United States - Free agent point guard Derrick Rose will sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves and be reunited with former coach Tom Thibodeau for the remainder of the season, according to a report from ESPN.
With the Wolves, Rose will also play alongside former Chicago Bulls teammates Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson. The trio were all members of the team at the same time under Thibodeau as coach from 2011-15.
Rose became a free agent when he was released by the Jazz in February, following a trade to Utah from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Rose appeared in 16 games (seven starts) for the Cavs this season, averaging 9.8 points per game while missing an extended period of time with a nagging ankle injury.
In his time with the Bulls, Rose was a three-time All-Star and was named the NBA MVP in Thibodeau's first season in 2010-11.
Health issues, including multiple knee surgeries, have impacted Rose's career. He took a sabbatical from the Cavaliers and weighed retirement before ultimately deciding to rejoin the team.
The Timberwolves are sixth in the Western Conference at 38-28 this season. They host the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, Two-time NBA defensive player of the year Kawhi Leonard denied friction exists with the San Antonio Spurs and said he wants to play the remainder of his career with the team.
Leonard has played just nine games this season and none since January 13 due to a right quadriceps injury. On Wednesday he downplayed reports of a rift with the Spurs regarding the way his rehabilitation has been handled.
"Everything was done as a group," Leonard told the San Antonio Express-News. "I don't feel like nothing was friction. I talk to Pop (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) every day. ... He knew what I was doing the whole entire time, as well as the front office. We made a group decision, so it was me just going out and saying, 'I am going to go out and do this thing.' "
Asked if he would like to finish his career in San Antonio, Leonard said, "Yeah. For sure."
Asked when he thinks he's going to play again, Leonard responded, "Soon. I don't have a set date right now. I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing. The progression that I'm making has been great."
Leonard is averaging 16.3 points and 6.2 rebounds a game in his seven-year pro career.
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