The Minnesota Timberwolves saw Ricky Rubio take that next step to start-caliber this past regular season. Rubio put up career highs in points per game (11.1) and assists per game (9.1).

Despite this, the Timberwolves were linked to New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose prior to February’s trade deadline. That makes sense considering Rose’s relationship with Timberwolves head coach Tom┬áThibodeau dating back to their days with the Chicago Bulls.

Now set to become a free agent this upcoming summer, it appears that the Wolves are interested in signing Rose outright.

“The Minnesota Timberwolves view Derrick Rose as a potential free-agent target this summer,” ESPN’s Ian Begley reported Wednesday.

There’s surely a scenario in play here that suggests Minnesota will look to flip Rubio for another proven starter to go with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. That’s only magnified by th presence of youngster Kris Dunn at point guard.

Then again, why would the Wolves look to impede Dunn’s progress at the point by adding a player in Rose who has regressed in recent seasons?

The former MVP averaged 18.0 points while shooting at a 47 percent mark for the Knicks prior to going down with a season-ending meniscus injury in 2016-17. He’s still a starter-caliber player, but it remains to be seen whether Rose can be a difference maker.