Derrick Rose has to go

Derrick Rose has to go

Derrick Rose has never been known as a competent orator, and Bulls fans rightfully didn't care. After all, Rose is paid to play basketball, not teach classes on public speaking.

But one specific quote that appeared in Sunday's Chicago Tribune goes a long way toward explaining why the Bulls and Derrick Rose need to part ways this summer:

"I feel I'm an All-Star right now"

While NBA fans may one day again see Derrick Rose play in an All-Star game, there was no point during the past season in which Rose resembled an All-Star.

There are some Bulls fans who like to point out a particular stretch of games last season during which he looked like the Derrick Rose of old, but unfortunately that was just wishful thinking. A simple look at the numbers tells us that Rose was never particularly good at any point of the 2015-16 season.

Rose was certainly better in January than he had been the first two months of the season, when he was struggling with his shooting due to the after effects from the eye injury he suffered the first day of training camp. He averaged 17.6 points per game - a 15% jump over the previous month. He had a true shooting percentage of .526 that month, easily his highest number of the season.

But a .526 true shooting percentage isn't anywhere near All-Star level. The league average for TS% is .541, and while this number is naturally higher for big men than for guards, .526 isn't close to an All-Star level for a point guard:

Kyle Lowry .578
John Wall .510 (#2 in the NBA with 10.2 assists per game)
Isaiah Thomas .562
Steph Curry .669
Russell Westbrook .554
Chris Paul .575

Rose averaged only 3.3 assists per game in January, obviously a horrible number for a point guard (Rose was only 4th on the team in assists per game in January). He also averaged 2.5 turnovers in January, 2nd-most on the team (Gasol averaged 2.6). Rose's assist/turnover ratio for the month was 1.3/1, obviously an extremely poor number for a point guard.

Rose's highest scoring month of the season was February, when he played in 8 of the team's 12 games and averaged 21.9 points (and 6.0 assists, his second-best month of the season). The team was without their #1 and #4 scorers (Butler and Mirotic) that month, so they certainly needed Rose's scoring - the bad thing, however, is that it took him 19.4 FGA to score those 21.9 points. Even though he averaged a season-best 4.9 FTA that month, his TS% was only .508.

February was probably Rose's best month, even though he played in only 2/3 of his team's games. He scored at an All-Star level, but his TS% and mediocre assist totals (which were somewhat negated by his 3.3 turnovers per game) certainly prevent anyone from claiming he was performing at an All-Star level for the month.

Rose's March stats: 16.6 points, 4.5 assists, 2.5 turnovers and .511 TS%. Clearly nowhere near All-Star numbers.

On top of his mediocre offensive production, Rose's defense was downright atrocious last season. On most nights it appeared as if he wasn't giving any effort at all on the defensive end.

The Bulls really have no choice but to move on from the Rose era and hand the keys to the team over to Jimmy Butler.

jimmy butler bullsville

The Bulls have no choice but to jump on the Jimmy Butler bandwagon

As I pointed out a few days ago, Jimmy put up LeBron numbers this season when he played and Rose didn't. The team overall went 32-34 when Rose played vs 10-6 when he didn't, and the Bulls played at a 67-win pace when Jimmy played and Rose was inactive.

Don't get me wrong, Derrick Rose can still have nights where he looks like MVP Rose - but they are few and far between. Outside of those rare flashback nights, he is simply an average starting-level NBA point guard (not that there's anything wrong with that).

The problem for the Bulls is that Rose still thinks he's an All-Star level player, and he still wants to be the alpha dog. And while he certainly struggled with saying the wrong things at the wrong time in his first year as self-proclaimed team leader, Jimmy Butler is now the Bulls' alpha dog.

But certainly there is a team out there that can use a volume scorer with a superstar name (which Rose certainly still has). To this writer, the obvious choice is Philadelphia, a team full of young players and without a point guard (Ish Smith is now a free agent). While it might be too much to ask the Sixers to send Nerlens Noel to the Bulls for Rose, Philly does have a couple of extra draft picks at the bottom of the first round (#22 and #26). It's possible the Sixers might send one of their picks in the 20's in exchange for Rose.

Sacramento is also looking for a point guard, with Rajon Rondo now an unrestricted free agent. I can't see the Kings giving up Willie Cauley-Stein or their lottery-pick for Rose, but they might send Rudy Gay to the Bulls (or to another team that would send a 1st-round pick to Chicago).

The Bulls can't be picky, however - if they can find a team to take on the last year of Rose's salary, they have to do it - even if they get nothing but a 2nd-round pick in return. The Bulls can use the cap space to sign a player (or players) that fit with Jimmy Butler. They need more athleticism and more three-point shooting

The Derrick Rose era is over in Chicago, it's time for the Jimmy Butler era to officially begin.


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  • Basketball is still a team sport, no one player is bigger than the team even if his name and skill are on the par with Jimmy Butler. Derrick Rose is still a good player --maybe not the point guard he once was--and maybe he has played this past season in survivor mode --not knowing how and if he would stay healthy. Other teams know this as well and they are not going to spend value on a player with his injury history. Rose might be very effective at the 2 guard position--but the Bulls need to draft a point guard, small forward, and a center that would be effective in the new system.

    They really need a player evaluator to evaluate talent that would be effective in Hoiberg's system--if that system is going to be effective. If this is not obvious by now the team is destined to continually be a draft lottery position team.

  • I agree that nobody is bigger than the team, and Pax knows that there has only been one untradeable player in Bulls history. And I have no problem with trading Jimmy for the right return, I just don't see that happening.

    Jimmy is one of the best two-way players in the NBA, and he's a top-20 player overall (if not higher). Even with his injury, and the dip in numbers after he came back from it, Jimmy was still among the league leaders in the following categories:

    #3 in minutes per game
    #11 in free throws made
    #14 in free throws attempted (even though he missed 15 games)
    #16 in points per game
    #18 in steals per game
    #12 in offensive win shares
    #20 in win shares
    #19 in win shares per 48 minutes
    #15 in box plus/minus
    #14 in offensive box plus/minus
    #15 in value over replacement player

    I'm not a big proponent of some of these advanced stats, but if you look at the company he's keeping, it seems to me as if he's a top-15 player.

    I don't expect teams to give the Bulls much for Rose, but as long as the Bulls can find a team to take Rose without sending back any salaries, all of a sudden they would be looking at about $47 million in cap space - and that number could go higher if they can dump the salaries of Taj and MDJ.

    That much cap space would allow them to rebuild the team with players who fit Hoiberg's system.

  • fb_avatar

    Fact of the matter is Jimmy can't lead a team to the playoffs Derrick is a game changer when he has it going and he can play at a level Jimmy will never reach so be careful when thinking Derrick can easily be replaced bc he has a gear no many players have in this league. If they get rid of Rose we will endure long rebuilding seasons and not to mention Jimmy gets hurt every year it seems so imagine no Rose and Jimmy gets hurt which is likely Bulls would be horrid.

  • In reply to Devin Parker:

    That Rose is long gone, the only gear that he has left now is the mope a dope gear, which made him a great fit with Gasoline who will also be gone next season.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Some people just don't get it, MVP Rose is gone, and he's not walking through that door ever again.

    Grant Hill
    Stevie Francis
    Bill Walton

    And the list goes on and on and on and on and on and on and..................

  • i know people are a bit discouraged by rose, the expectations were higher for him this year compared to the last few years and obviously didn't meet them. However, you also have to consider he did play in 3 times the amount of games he played in the previous 3 years and I think he was more trying to get through the year rather than go through another rehab situation so I'm sure that played a big part in his production, but now that he has made it through that hump i'm sure his confidence is much higher than was previously which could be huge for next season not to mention being a contract year. In my opinion, just a gut feeling that it would be a bad idea to trade him. I think you have to give him one more shot at redemption, cause if you stop and think about it "what if" you trade him and he ends up having a really good season and makes the allstar game? not necessarily "MVP" status but perhaps just a level below that? know that's just gonna make things look worse for the bulls, just saying. Also just to put it out there I am sure he wasn't up to par as far as being in "allstar" shape this season not playing many games in 3 years would do that to anybody. I expect he will be in much better shape next season having a full offseason to do so. I think when you achieve being the youngest MVP in NBA history you deserve to get that last desperate shot at redemption

  • oh and just to kind of put things in perspective not to take a shot at Michael Jordan he was and is my idol, but if he had to go through what rose has being the competitor that he is i'm pretty sure he wouldn't look very good in front of the podium or say the right things either. All that frustration makes it hard to think straight or act right in those situations even for the ones who were the best at it and we all know even when rose was at his best dealing with the media was never a strong point for him at any point that just wasn't Derrick Rose so certainly not going to be at his worst

  • So glad that others see Rose's potential and how important this past season has been to his confidence. Can we imagine what a healthy Rose and a healthy Butler can accomplish with an even healthy Noah at the helm. I'd rather see the 3 of them in a Bulls uniform, just to have at least one more chance at winning over 60 games. And let's not forget that they have won over sixty game two times--would a new group of Bulls do that? Maybe in a few years, huh?
    Starting over is not what we fans want to see our Bulls do. If most of us have had the injuries Rose has had and have had the bank account that he also has--would any of us think about being on the court to play basketball again. No, not me, I would be on the beach with some beautiful babe and smoking some very long cuban cigar between margaritas. But, Rose believes in himself and is a winner at heart--that spirit is what Chicago needs--they need and want him to be a success story for every kid from Chi-town.

  • I understand why everyone loves the hometown boy, but the simple, statistical fact is that he's been pretty bad at playing basketball the last two seasons.

    His assist/turnover ration has been bad, his true shooting percentage has been really bad, and his defense atrocious.

    And penwit, we all know why Rose is out there playing right now, and it has nothing to do with a "desire to win" - he made it clear in his own words during last training camp, he's out there to get another max-level contract next summer.

  • In reply to Bullsville:

    Exactly, he cares more about PJ's future nutritional needs than he does about basketball. He simply does not have the passion for the game anymore. He's just a professional rehabber looking to play as long as he can get massively overpaid for it.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I can't believe how many Bulls fans say something like "this last season was just Rose trying to get through a season without a major injury, and he did that, woo hoo"...

    ... yet he STILL missed 16 games. That is now a "healthy" season for Rose.

  • Have you read the latest about Noah? Check out:
    They are saying that the Bulls are going to pay Noah (maybe max)
    Now that is a core with Noah, Butler and my man Rose!

  • In reply to penwit1:

    I didn't see anything in that article about paying Noah the max, but the Bulls really need him back next season. He's the leader of the defense, and I'm assuming that even Butler knows that.

  • Rose is better than Butler. The latter has reached his ceiling. He can't lead a team because of his arrogance. In my opinion 20 points does not make him a superstar. You have to win. He can't do it. Trade him for Rudy Gay.

  • I feel like Steph Curry, and would be if I were 9 inches taller, a lot younger, and a lot of other stuff.

    The real economics is that Rose may play better because he said he was saving himself for a contract year, and only the very desperate would pick up his contract now. Maybe he can prove something before the trade deadline.

  • The Sacto deal sounds like something that might make some sense for both teams, Rose for #8 and WCS, especially if Rondo leaves, which sounds likely. Sacto might make a good trading partner for a Butler deal too. How about #8, WCS and Rudy Gay, and or Kosta Koufos.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I don't see any way Sacto gives us #8 AND WCS for Rose, probably not even if we give them #14 and the pick they owe us.

    I would do Rose for #8, or Rose for WCS, or Rose and #14 for #8. Rose for Gay straight-up would be pretty good as well.

    I'd rather do Butler for #5, LaVine and Dieng than anything Sacto could give us

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    Don Ellis started covering sports professionally when he was 15. The same year (1980), as a student assistant at Seeger Memorial High School in West Lebanon, IN, he was one of the first in the world to use, study and implement analytics in basketball. He attended Daytona State College and Ball State University, and some of his past credits include InsideHoops (NBA Runaround: The NBA According to Ellis) and ESPN Florida (The Florida Sports Reporters), where he was fortunate enough to work with many rising stars, including NFL Network's Dan Hellie, Redskins coach Jay Gruden, Magic radio and TV personality Dante Marchitelli, and WSB-TV (Atlanta) Sports Director Zach Klein. In addition to running the Bullsville blog and officiating basketball, baseball and football for the KHSAA, he is also a bass player and vocalist who writes and produces music in his spare time (you may remember his internet hit "I Hate Eddy Curry"). He's a 3rd-generation Cubs fan, a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier and Sloan, and a life-long New England Patriots fan. He's seen Primus 9 times and thinks Les Claypool walks on water. By far his greatest accomplishment is being a father of three and grandfather of one.

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