GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Derrick Rose used the edge of his jersey to wipe the sweat from his forehead after practice Tuesday. He was equally as practical and matter of fact when it came to dealing with questions about reports that the Knicks are talking about trading him to the Timberwolves.
“I hadn’t heard anything about it until I came back here,” Rose said after his first practice since the All-Star break. “Like I said before, you never know what is going to happen. You’ve got to be a professional about it. Whatever it is, I’ll be prepared.”
Several outlets are reporting that the Timberwolves have reached out to the Knicks about a potential trade for Rose, who will be a free agent this summer. Rose played seven seasons in Chicago under Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau. Point guard Ricky Rubio likely would be included in a package for Rose, as Thibodeau is said to be high on rookie point guard Kris Dunn.
The trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m.
Knicks president Phil Jackson traded for Rose last summer in what he hoped would be the first move in putting together a team that would compete for a playoff spot. Rose is averaging 17.7 points and shooting 46 percent in 48 games. He has missed time because of back spasms and an ankle injury. His knees, which were an issue in the past, have been healthy.
Rose’s addition, however, has not come without drama. He missed a chunk of training camp defending himself in a sexual-assault lawsuit. (A jury found Rose not liable on all counts.) There also was an odd incident in early January when he failed to show up or tell the team about his whereabouts and missed a game at Madison Square Garden.
Rose said he likes New York and is happy playing where he is.
“I love it here, but it’s not up to me. It’s up to the front office,” he said. “I don’t have a problem with the coaching staff. I don’t have a problem with my teammates. I love it here, like I said, but this is a business.”
Coach Jeff Hornacek said he hasn’t talked with Rose or any other players about specific trade rumors.
“We mentioned it before the break,’’ Hornacek said. “Rumors will be out there. We tell them you just have to go play and whatever will be happening, will be happening.”
Notes & quotes: Joakim Noah again tweaked his hamstring in a practice right before the break and will not play Thursday in Cleveland. Noah missed five straight games heading into the break, but the Knicks originally were hopeful he would be back against the Cavaliers. “He was getting close,’’ Hornacek said. “That’s the problem with hamstrings. You think you’re fine, and all of the sudden you make that one hard move.” Willy Hernangomez will start in Noah’s place . . . Courtney Lee (flu) also missed practice. Lee apparently was so sick that he couldn’t make his plane.