Derrick Rose needs to be the Russell Westbrook of the team.
In the time Teague/Wiggins/Butler were out, Rose took on the Westbrook role for the first time since 2015. We all know what happened. There is no doubt that Rose can still run the team. He is good enough to be the floor general with everybody gravitating around his drives and decisions. He proved it.
However, Thibs still wants Jeff Teague as the pointguard of the Wolves, with Rose playing off ball as a spot up shooter. Teague, while an ok player, is simply not the pointguard of a serious playoff team. He just doesn't have the IT factor. Most importantly, him being the pointguard is not efficiently using the weapon that Minnesota has in Rose. Yeah, Rose has shown he can play off the ball and knock down threes, but youre not exploiting the extent of his potential with that.
I do understand Thibs. He knows Rose is injury prone, and believes forcing Rose to do heavy lifting will ultimately result with him breaking down, at which point the team will crumble too. So he relegates him to a secondary role, in which he doesn't get nearly as much as he could from him, but at least he gets it consistently, and everything does not fall apart if he goes down.
But Thibs needs to realize one thing: if he doesn't risk it, then he will get nowhere in any case. Rose is his only chance for a title run. The right calculation would be to put Rose at the helm, and pray he makes it to the finish line. If he doesn't, and keeps the status quo of Minnesota as it is now, hes not getting in the playoffs anyway. What difference does it make if his team won 20, 30 or 40 games if they don't make it?
But if they do, it will be because of Rose. He has fantastic chemistry with Towns and Gibson on the pick and roll and pick and pop. Maximize it. And once you know this is your foundation, maximize it further. Think bigger than just making the playoffs.
Here's the plan. Trade Teague (last year contract) for Bradley Beal. He is the perfect player to line up next to Rose at the two: a hustling defender, knockdown three point shooter and someone who doesnt need the ball in his hands to be good but instead excels at the Kyle Korver run off screens catch and shoot. Remember Rose and Kyle at Chicago?
Getting Beal would maximize Rose's drive and kick game and allow to hide Rose on defense allowing him to do his thing on offense. In Rose, Towns and Beal you have a big three that is ready to contend together with role players like Gibson, Covington, Saric, Okogie and Tyus Jones.
Notice I'm not mentioning Wiggins. For Minnesota to have any chance of success he simply needs to go. Right now he is a black hole that contributes NOTHING. However, he is young and athletic, so there has to be a GM who would take him for a disgruntled player on a big salary he doesn't need (JR Smith for example)
But even that GM would not take Wiggins without picks in return, and same goes for the Beal for Teague operation. It would obviously be a big sacrifice for the future of the franchise. But lets remember: Thibs was always gonna be about 'win now'. Thats why he brought Butler giving up Lavine. But Butler saw that with Wiggins as the 3rd option, this team is just not good enough so he bailed. This left Thibs in no man's land.
The only way to get over the Butler fiasco is to get rid of Teague and Wiggins hogging the ball, go all in on Rose and surround him with the right supporting cast (which is basically two pieces away) and then hope his legs hold. However, even in the event Rose busts his knee again, even without picks, things don't look that grim. Towns is locked and Beal would be too. In Tyus Jones and Okogie you have two great young assets. Cov and Saric are as good as role players get, also pretty young and on good contracts. Finally, Gibson frees up even more salary at the end of the season opening options in free agency for a pointguard, provided that Rose is gone. This is still a playoff team next season even in that event, if you do these moves.
But with Rose in his old role, its a contender. Thibs has to realize he needs to go all in.