Derrick Rose's injury, recruitment, and the Bulls next shot at a dynasty

Derrick Rose, like the rest of the NBA, is in the midst of the fluff tour. Where NBA media around the country talk to players for all their feel good stories about how much their jumpers have improved, how much muscle they've gained, and how THIS year it will be better.

For Derrick, the fluff interviews are almost dangerous pieces due to the way last season ended. He has no choice but to repeatedly hammer home the point that he's healthy now but wasn't healthy enough to play in May.

A series of points which may or may not be true, but pours salt in the wounds of many Bulls fans either way. The media isn't trying to beat him up with it which almost makes the fan response even stronger out of anger that no one in the media will beat him up with it.

However, in the midst of this fluff interview with the rappler, the most disturbing thing may not be his answer about why he didn't come back [which was that he wasn't good enough to take on double teams, he felt good enough to take on one guy but not two], but his answer to recruiting which came in the last segment around 2:46 into the video.

"I don't recruit, I don't recruit. If anyone wants to play with me, I don't mind playing with them. It can be anyone in the NBA, but as far as recruiting I never did or I never will"

It's the old school mentality that you love and hate at the same time. Yes, there's something to like about the fact that Derrick Rose isn't whoring himself out there to every pedestrian role player available, trying to convince them that Chicago is the place to go.

It's also worth noting that his lack of "recruitment" only really extends to the guys he's not friends with. He's recruiting Kevin Love and Kevin Durant without even realizing it.

Star players you recruit by becoming their friends. Dwyane Wade didn't "recruit" LeBron James and Chris Bosh the way the three of them recruited Ray Allen. They played together, appreciated each others talents, became friends, and formed a plan.

Derrick Rose likely won't be as crafty at this as Dwyane Wade, but he doesn't have to be. He just has to continue working out with other great players, letting them see his greatness, and see what kind of person he is. Kevin Durant and Kevin Love are two guys who will likely appreciate Rose's attitude towards the game.

After management has weakened the team in consecutive off-seasons while on the verge of the title in order to avoid the luxury tax, Durant is unlikely to be all that happy. He'll be looking for an out, and when you're looking for an out, you start looking for the best situation available to leave to.

Maybe Derrick Rose isn't recruiting Kevin Durant, maybe he isn't saying "hey Kevin, you should come play in Chicago". In Derrick's mind he might not be putting it out there at all. However, the best recruiting pitch is the subtle one, and if Rose genuinely loves playing for the Bulls then he'll be recruiting the hell out of Durant whether he's trying or not.

In a sense, this is where the Bulls have a dangerous line to walk as well. Since Derrick isn't outwardly recruiting, they need to make sure Derrick genuinely loves playing in Chicago. They need to make sure in his quiet moments he's not venting about his treatment from the ACL or management forcing him to play.

They need to make sure he likes the guys they bring in and are doing enough to keep him happy with the talent base while at the same time remaining flexible enough to have max contract room available in 2016. I'm not saying the Bulls should simply wait for 2016 and do nothing for the next three years, but right now the Bulls only have Rose and Gibson under contract for those years. They can dump Gibson if they need to.

Chicago should be careful about whom they add. Mirotic will be cheap, Butler is likely a must, and Snell will be under his final option year. They'll have the Charlotte pick at this point as well regardless of when it comes due. If the Bulls aren't able to add any other significant pieces in the next three seasons [they won't have much flexibility to do so] then they can do worse then entering that off-season with those players and hoping for Durant.

This also would have fit perfectly into a Luol Deng extension this summer as Deng expires in 2016 like Joakim Noah. Locking in Deng for three years would be the type of move that would help keep the team stable and of high quality up until the point where Durant is a free agent. Locking him in for four is the type of move that will screw them over.

A core of Durant and Rose in their primes could be the most dynamic duo in the league and clearly the best case scenario for Chicago. Durant's the type of personality that would love to play with Rose as well. It fits, it fits better than the LeBron thing ever fit as their games would complement each other as well.

2016 plan Doug? Really? You're selling me on 2016?

Yes. Yes I am.

The 2014 plan is a fraud. It's not even a plan. I've pointed this out several times. 2016 is a long shot. However, the Houston Rockets look like they have a dominant future because they went for a long shot and succeeded.

The Bulls shouldn't give up for the next three seasons just to hang around and wait. They can win the title if things go their way, and they should continue to push in that direction. However, they can push while being mindful of Durant's free agency year.

They should position themselves to strike if the opportunity is there. Derrick Rose isn't openly recruiting anyone, but when you start doing private workouts with Durant, the recruitment doesn't have to be open. It's automatic.

Durant will likely be looking for an out in three off-seasons, Chicago will likely still need a second super star as there's no way to get one before then.

The Bulls will continue to have a punchers shot at the title for three years, but if they're careful, they can have a punchers chance at a dynasty after that.


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  • This is exactly what i have been saying for the longest, it is not Rose job to bring the right players to the Bulls. It's the bulls management job to bring in the players to contend for a championship. Rose imo is gone when his contract up if the Bulls FO don't do their jobs in building a championship team. Many Bulls fans don't think that he would leave Chicago but the guy wants to win a title and if the Bulls can't get the job done then why should he stay.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    It's not that easy though, he also needs a viable landing spot to go to.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug you know the Lakers are always going to be committed to building a championship team and are always trying to grab another teams star player. Rose likes L.A. and probably wouldnt mind going to an organization that has no problem spendi.g big to win championships. And whose to say Rose wouldnr go join Durant and westbrook who's more of a shooting guard to build their own dynasty im OKC. Like you said yourself Doug...the Bulls FO had better be very careful over the next few years on what players they bring to the Bulls team. It needs to be players that's capable in helping Rose win championships or as i said before, i can see him leaving the Bulls.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And something else to think about, i don't believe Rose has ever bought a home in Chicago. He lives in Trump Tower if I'm correct. What's up with that, not planting his own personal roots is what it looks like to me. I knowhis family is in Chicago but he can always move them from there if he ever wants to go elsewhere. Just something to think about.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Trump Tower is in Chicago. So.....

  • In reply to JPesos1230:

    Trump tower isn't considered an actual house. So...

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Kind of depends if hte Lakers have cap room. Just because the Lakers are willing to commit to spending doesn't mean they'll have a viable way to get him there.

    The Lakers could arrange to have cap room that year (2017 is a far way out) but it doesn't mean they won't already acquire other players before then. I doubt Laker fans are amped up to wait four more off-sesaons for something to happen.

    The Bulls do need to be careful, I agree, but they're the third highest payroll in the NBA this year, their commitment isn't so much worse than anyone else.

  • It seems like a strange move for Durant to make. Westbrook for Rose is a lateral move, so what's the benefit of coming to chicago?

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    OKC has reduced the quality of its roster multiple times. I'd also suggest that Westbrook for Rose is not a lateral move, though it's possible it will be viewed that way now post ACL.

  • Rose and Westbrook are the same as scoring talent but Rose is the better overall player since Rose is a more natural point guard/passer. Westbook is a Shooting Guard that was converted to play pg but you still see those scoring guard instincts kicking in and him jacking up shots instead of passing the ball to Durant. Rose on the other hand was a somewhat passive point guard that was pushed to become more of a scorer because the Bulls needed scoring. They are not the same type players at all.

  • There is no debate that Derrick Rose is someone any player would love to play with. However, I know Bulls fans don’t want to hear this, but I think Rose is doing himself and the Bulls organization a disservice by making public his intentions of not being a recruiter. In today’s day and age, players aggressively recruit other players. Wade recruited Lebron. Harden recruited Howard. Chris Paul even recruited Doc Rivers. This is the new blueprint for success. Russell Westbrook, not the introvert Rose is, will be outwardly recruiting Durant to stay with him in OKC, and it will probably work.

  • In reply to RichG:


    It should be a FO's job to recruit players but it doesn't appear to work that way anymore. Even for all the Lakers' luster, Kobe publicly lobbied for Dwight Howard to stay, and Kobe's as old school as it gets.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Kobe is clearly a much more forceful personality than Derrick, and in this case to his detriment.

    Rose's attitude might change as he gets older and more frustrated about not winning. Of course, we have to hope that he is still a Bull if and when it does change.

    However, the recruiting thing just doesn't seem to be a part of his basic personality. Lets face it, personality wise he is not exactly a dynamo. That's not a knock on Rose, he just is what he is, it would not be reasonable to expect any radical changes in his core being.

  • If OKC wins a championship, this plan can go out the window. I do agree that Derrick would be a better fit than Russ, but something would have to go wrong in OKC for Durant to want to leave, imo.

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    I agree, but there's no real "plan", it's just make sure you don't screw yourself out of the possibility in advance. Also, OKC is going in the wrong direction to win a title. Their odds are lower now than each of the past two seasons.

  • Durant is a d.c. native. after watching him on the redskins sideline this past Sunday in redskins apparel, I wouldn't be shocked to see him go play in d.c. with John Wall.

  • In reply to rob32:

    John Wall is out in LA training with these guys, now. SI had a recent article about the trainer, and some of the stars that go out to work with him in the off-season.

    I have a feeling at least a couple of these guys will be Lakers, and that another couple will end up on another team. Hopefully, that other team is Chicago!

  • Good article. Durant, Love, etc... So, you're saying there's a chance....

    I will say that it's not safe to assume that Chicago will not spend, or LA will always spend. Or Miami will. Maybe Dallas is the exception more often than not because of Cuban???

    The Bulls will go over luxury tax strategically when it counts. However, under the new CBA, you cannot consistently go way over the cap. The Nets will pay dearly for the moves they made this offseason. Not only will they pay a ton in luxury taxes, but they lost 3 picks to the C's and the C's have the option to swap picks one other year. If NJ gets bad in 2015 or 2016, these picks could be high end 1st rounders and make the C's really good by 2018-2020 if they draft well.

    Chicago is well positioned to be in the ECF in 2014. If healthy (a big if, but you can't assume season-ending injuries) the Bulls will lock up the #1 seed. Definitely top 2 or 3 seed, but probably #1. Miami will chill and coast to the playoffs. For them, it's the 3-peat that matter most. Indiana and NJ will be tough.

    However, there is the stat that says the Bulls with a healthy Boozer-Rose-Noah-Deng wins 85% of their games. (Yes, that's 70 wins.) That stat includes Bogans/Brewer/Hamilton at SG. So, throw in Butler to that mix instead. Also, throw in Dunleavy, the best bench FA pickup int he Rose era. Consider that Hinrick now slides to the bench. Guys and Snell are only needed if there's an injury. There is no reason to think the Bulls will not seriously challenge for the #1 seed and the NBA championship.

    Then, there's the salary flexibility next summer. You can bring Deng back or not. You can amnesty Boozer or not. Mirotic should be coming over and he should be a great floor spacing starter at worst. Maybe 6th man. Gasol will be available and under a 2 year deal makes perfect sense next summer. The Charlotte pick is coming soon and should definitely be a top 10 lotto pick. Maybe #1 overall in 2016? Seriously.

    So, if you're Rose, what franchise offers more? Because you can't just spend and win. You need flexibility. You need a well-constructed roster. The Bulls were right there in 2011 and fell short against Miami in 5, with most of the games extremely tight. Probably should have gone 7. But this team is even better. The Bulls are still young and each guy should be better this season than next except for maybe Boozer. Noah can do more. Deng should be healthier. Rose did not even play.

  • The Durantula would be a sweet add. Arguably two of the top 5 players in the league on the same team hard to beat that. 2016 plan makes a hell of a lot more sense than that BS 2014 plan the idiots in the media keep trying to feed us. Does seem like quite the longshot though as Durant is a loyal dude and Westbrook is a stud. I don't see OKC becoming bad enough that he walks. I think they stay in the Chicago zone of perpetual good but never great.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Don't underestimate what a hole OKC is to live in. There's no culture there, there's no city life, there's nothing. Durant made it clear he was pissed off about OKC's moves the past two years as well.

  • "2016 plan Doug? Really? You're selling me on 2016?

    Yes. Yes I am."

    That is exactly what I was thinking before I got to the part where you said it yourself.

    But a good post none-the-less, especially for "fluff" season, which now has less than 2 weeks to go.

    Your point on extending Deng for "only" 3 more seasons makes good sense, if you believe in keeping Deng at all. My guess, is that was the Bulls strategy this offseason, and when Deng made it clear that he wasn't giving a discount in either years or money, the Bulls chose(wisely) to walk away from the table. So unless Deng caves during the season, likely prior to the trade deadline, he is probably done as a Bull, since regardless of the money, he is almost certain to get a 4 year deal from someone in free agency.

    The only caveat that I would add to any 2016 plan is that Rose himself will be a free agent in 2017. So any 2016 free agent would have to be reasonably assured that Rose is sticking around. When is the earliest that the Bulls could extend Rose's current contract, or can they do so at all before he becomes a free agent?

    I totally agree that the best way that Rose can "recruit" guys to come play in Chicago is to befriend them in the offseason. Obviously, I don't have any idea how good he is at making friends with other NBA players or who he really hangs out with in the summer. Supposedly he and Westbrook have been offseason workout buddies in the since they came to the NBA, although, I haven't heard much about that this offseason. Not sure how being pals with Westbrook helps in recruiting Durant though.

    As you suggested Durant is a pipedream at best, but you are correct that the Bulls would be prudent to plan to have a slot open for a guy like him in 2016.

    Does Kevin Love even make it to the summer of 2016, or does something happen next summer or in 2015. You would have to snag him if you had the chance rather than wait on a shot at Durant. What if Lamarcus Aldridge became available before then. Either of those moves would wipe out max cap space in 2016, making it more like the 2014 plan that you don't think exists.

    Just curious, but in your opinion are we resigning Noah in 2016, assuming of course that he hasn't become disabled.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I believe the Bulls can extend Rose in 2015, but it's highly unlikely he would agree to an extension. He might agree to one in 2016 if they got a guy like Durant, but otherwise he has little to gain by agreeing early.

    I think we wait to see on Noah. His health will determine if we keep him as well as who else we might be able to get instead.

  • Would the Bulls have to let go of Noah for this scenario to work?

  • As some fan posted a few days ago, way too many variables to know what direction will make sense for the Bulls in a few years.

    This year, tho, some things are pretty clear:
    1) The Bulls should be a very good team. As Granby pointed out, and he was not the first to write it, "a healthy Boozer-Rose-Noah-Deng wins 85% of their games." The key word is "healthy"! That is really nice potential.
    2) So, the coach needs to keep these four rested. To do that, he will have to stick with his stated resolve to reduce their minutes, which means playing the kids more. He ought to be doing that anyway, because he will need something from Teague and Snell to take on the Heat (and maybe even Indy and the Nets).
    3) Butler and Dunleavy sure seem like they will be upgrades over the guys at their positions the last few seasons. That should add a few wins.
    4) All the Bulls need in the playoffs is to consistently win 60% of their games. That will bring the ring. This might be an exciting season!

    The FO will have a better idea what to do after they see how the youths progress this year. And who becomes available as an FA. And what happens with the Charlotte pick.

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