Derrick Rose will become just the fifth NBA MVP in league history to play for four or more franchises after signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday. The former Bulls star is moving on to his third team in less than two seasons after spending the first seven years of his career in Chicago.
Rose joins a limited group of players to win NBA MVP and play for so many different teams. Most players who are good enough to win the award tend not to bounce around because their teams never want to lose them. Many of the players, including Larry Bird and David Robinson, played their whole careers with one franchise.
But Rose is already onto his fourth team at age 29, which is a reflection of his downfall due to injuries over the past several years. The point guard couldn’t stick with the Cavaliers earlier this season, and now will try to revive his career by reuniting with coach Tom Thibodeau up north.
Moses Malone, one of just four NBA players to win MVP on different teams, and Bob McAdoo each played for seven different teams. Malone won MVPs in 1979 with the Rockets and 1982-83 with the 76ers. McAdoo won the 1975 MVP with the Buffalo Braves, who would later move to California and become the Clippers.
Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson are the only other two NBA players to win MVP and play for four or more teams. O’Neal spent most of his career with the Magic, Lakers, and Heat, but appeared with the Suns, Cavaliers, and Celtics in his final three seasons. Iverson will forever be known as a Sixer, but he also played the Nuggets, Pistons, and Grizzlies.
Otherwise, if you’re an NBA MVP, you had more stability over your career than Rose has already had before age 30. His trajectory was always going to be unique after becoming the youngest MVP winner in league history, but this probably isn’t what everyone had in mind.