Results of surgery will set the course

Results of surgery will set the course

Derrick Rose might be back in month, or he might miss the season. The irony is the successful surgery will set him back for a longer period of time to heal than the less successful one.

If Rose is able to have his meniscus reattached the recovery time appears to be in the 3-4 month range, but the Bulls will likely be quite near the end of the season where even the slightest setback keeps him out the whole year, and there's little reason to think he comes back in late March playing at a dominant level since he hadn't yet returned from the ACL to play at a dominant level.

In short, the best long term result for Derrick will likely end the season for the Bulls. That's assuming they can hang on enough without him to make the playoffs. This will be especially difficult if the Bulls suffer any further injuries and expect a complete trainwreck until Jimmy Butler returns.

If Rose can't have the meniscus reattached and has the damaged part trimmed then his longevity in the league will likely be affected, but his recovery time will be much sooner. Not a good result for Derrick, but the Bulls might have enough time to recover and get their bearings in this scenario.

It's worth noting that in terms of seeding the only massive advantage in getting out of the East is getting the one seed. Any other seed and Chicago has to go through both Indy and Miami anyway, so it's sort of irrelevant. The only massive disadvantage is getting the seven or eight seed an having to play them in the first round.

However, even that doesn't really impact making it through the full bracket, but rather makes a first round exit more likely. As such, the Bulls championship hopes [if they are playing well by playoff time] aren't really any worse off in any position in the playoffs outside of the #1 seed which means they don't need to piece together a strong regular season to still have a punchers shot at this thing.

They only need to play well at the end and sneak in.

That said, discussing championships right now reminds me of Jim Mora's famous playoff speech a bit. It feels so ridiculous to even comprehend the idea. However, while I find it quite unlikely, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Derrick comes back at a high level before the season ends.

If Rose is going to miss the season [or comeback very late where odds of quality play seem very low] then Chicago needs to evaluate who it's going to keep in the future and how to maximize future talent. At that point, missing the playoffs certainly helps them more than making them.

Since the West is ridiculously stronger than the East, the difference between the eighth seed and the last team to miss the playoffs could easily be 3-4 draft slots. In this draft, that could be quite significant. Under normal circumstances, I'd wonder if the Bulls could even tank their way out of the playoffs if they tried, but if Rose misses the rest of the season, they're only a Kirk Hinrich injury away from being completely hopeless night in and night out.

How likely is it that Kirk plays the whole season? They can also look to move Luol Deng even if the market for him is nearly completely non existent. At that point it wouldn't about the return but in increasing lottery balls while acknowledging that they aren't keeping Deng next season anyway.

That said, the odds of the Bulls aiming for the draft are virtually nil, and it's a terrible culture hit on a team to actively try to lose. I think such an effort almost mandates that you replace the whole roster afterwards in order to wipe out that cultural hit. Something the Bulls likely aren't interested in.

Tanking also doesn't strike me as high up on Tom Thibodeau's list of fun activities.

There aren't good options for the Bulls at this point, and in another 12 hours we'll know more about which bad options seem most appealing.


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  • The simple fact the season now hinges on Kirk Hinrich, pretty sums up how truly far removed this team is from title contention. I can't even say that at least we'll get some entertaining basketball to watch. What a friggin' mess.

  • And as far as Rose is concerned...he must do what is in his best interest in the long run. It also shows just how rare hall-of-fame caliber, superstar players really are. Even guys that have the talent and potential, must still overcome any number of obstacles to end their careers with hall-of-fame level accolades.

  • Does anybody think that a potential injury to D Rose is why Thibs wanted to keep 3 other PGs on the roster? Now, suddenly, it makes sense to have Teague and Mike James on the roster. Of course, we'd all rather have Nate Rob ... but we'd also like to have D Rose.

    All in all, this sucks royally. And without Jimmy Buckets, who does look for his shot significantly more without D Rose, for a few more weeks, HOW will this team score?? Boozer and Deng are the only proven scorers .... and we know their warts.

    If Thibs can get his current squad some Ws, I'll be more impressed with this coaching ability than ever before. Just expect some real grind 'em out, ugly-ass games ...

  • In reply to Curious E:

    It's starting to look like they kept Mike James more to mentor Teague than to play, given how Teague is getting all of the minutes right now.

  • My question is off topics but does people still think thibs is an elite head coach?

    I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind that Thibs is a great assistant coach. He is good at pre-game game plan, practice, etc. However, the few important features that differentiate head coach and assistant coach such as in game changes, line up management, timeout management, Thibs doesn't seem to do a good job.

  • In reply to handushk:

    It's a fair question to ask, and he's limited offensively ... BUT so is his personnel. If he had LeBron James, D Wade, Bosh and a half-dozen guys who could reliably drop 3s, then he's probably look like an offensive genius.

    This Bulls team is only engineered to shut down other teams, and eke out offense ... especially with D Rose out. So he's the perfect coach for this squad, IMO.

  • In reply to handushk:

    I agree and have said the exact same thing for a couple years now. Thibs is a lifelong assistant coach and he excels at those duties. The head coaching duties, not so much...

  • In reply to handushk:

    I'd say he's an elite coach. His teams have led the league in wins two of the last three years, and last year he took a team missing at least 3 starters and beat a much more talented Nets team on the road in a game 7. He made it to the conference finals when his team was healthy.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    I agree. Thibs is either extremely lucky or he is elite. It has to be the second one, since the Bulls have had a horrendous run of injuries, especially up to and during the playoffs!

    What now? The 2014-2015 plan might still work if Rose comes back at a near Allstar level - which does seem possible, but he will have to change his game. Mirotic, the Charlotte pick, and a higher pick this year all should help.

    Two other things could set the Bulls up well, IMO. First, they play Teague and Snell a lot. If one of these work out, that will help. If not, move them in trades. Second, see what the team can get for one or two of Deng, Boozer, Noah, Taj. The team will need another high pick to progress quickly.

    Then it will be a question of what they can do with the picks and FAs. If Rose does make it back in early April, in limited minutes, just to show his stuff, and if he looks good, he might help attract FAs next summer. If the FO plays their cards right, they just might be able to draft three good young prospects, setting up a bright future.

  • In reply to handushk:

    He's like Skiles - he gets a large improvement at the defensive end at the cost of offense.

    That's not really a knock - I think there's always going to be a trade off there, if you train defense you're not training offense. Schemes that emphasise sound positional defense aren't going to have players gambling for steals and getting fast break points, so they cost you offense too.

    I think Thibs is pretty reasonable at lineup management too, he generally plays his best players, which sounds like something any idiot could do, but a large number of NBA coaches out think themselves and don't. For all the complaints about running Deng into the ground, Deng has missed fewer games under Thibs than he did under Skiles or VDN.

    I don't know if he's elite, but I'm not sure it matters ... in the most part you go as far as your players take you, I think a coach can screw things up but I'm not sure if he can have a huge positive impact and make players better than they are. You can't polish a turd, as many good coaches put onto bad teams have found.

    That said, the Bulls need a tank commander coach, so they should be looking to get rid of Thibs for someone less competent.

  • regarding the injury, I'm just hoping the Bulls organization and Rose himself are upfront and honest about the situation and not bs about a potential return when they both know he will sit out the year because they want to sell a few more tickets/cash in. They did that last year and fans didn't appreciate it, be honest and upfront and we'll deal with this mediocre team and still cheer them on.

    regarding the Bulls, what has happened to the defense? Teams are popping threes like its a shooting drill and the pick n roll defense SUCKS. The Bulls have to get back on track defensively because the offense can't compete in a shootout. Maybe Gar can study the LA Clippers, they loaded their team with multiple sharp shooters and scorers. Like someone said, all we have is Deng and Boozer, shut them down and we have zero offense.

  • I'm a big believer in tanking. I really am. The Spurs parlayed tanking into a dynasty and 4 NBA championships. Unfortunately for the Bulls, such a concept is just not in Tom Thibideau's DNA. But they're not alone. The Lakers could have landed a stud draft pick in 2014, had they amnestied Kobe and traded Gasol. Stupid is what stupid does! I hate the Celtics, but Danny Ainge knows what he's doing. Mikael Prokerov does not.

  • I don't get what's happening in the NBA. Nowadays guys are just dropping like flies. The crazy part is in the 80's and 90's the game was a lot more physical, but now everytime you look around somebody's needing surgery or out for the season. This injury plague crap is killing the excitement of the NBA. I don't think i can remember any of the Bulls being injured during the dynasty years and if they were it was only for a couple days. Now, a guy like Rose goes down and all hope for the season is gone. It's really becoming a sad thing to watch.

  • In reply to ajaychitown:

    Basketball used to have more uncalled contact and cheapshots but the biggest difference is that players in the 80s and 90s were skinny and looked like really tall regular people so the forces involved in running, jumping and guys hitting each other were lesd than they are now with all of these bodybuilders running around (rose included) hurting themselves and each other. It's still the same species (humans), maybe they are pushing the limit of what a body should do (steroids?).

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    It's an interesting question, for you're both correct. The great teams — Bulls, Lakers, Celtics, Pistons — didn't have players with these types of injuries. Bernard King had an ACL, but he was the only major player who had such a severe injury. Jordan broke his foot but that's really minor compared to today's injuries that are befalling so many of the greats.

    To me, it looks like overtraining ... including such an emphasis on explosion and lean muscle (hence, the undercurrent of PEDs). The knees and lower back are put through more stress than ever.

  • It's like Clash of the Titans around here lately.."Call no man happy who is not dead!" screams Gar Forman as he putters around the office. Can we please stop panicking? The on-court situation becomes much more managable when Butler returns. As to Derrick, I actually think he'll be back in weeks, not months. I don't see that he has incentive to sit out another season in order for a better long term prognosis. I just don't. If he sits out another season there's no way he gets another max contract in his career, right? And what does he get in return? Another 2-3 seasons at the end of his career pulling the vet min? Not to mention the fact that long term rehab is hell and anyone who has just gone through one is not looking forward to another. No. I'm fairly certain he will choose the option that gets him back on the court as soon as humanly possible. He has every basketball and non-basketball reason to do so.

    Meanwhile, every hair-brained scheme any Bulls fan has championed for the last 5 years re-emerges as "the solution". This is a setback, not a death spiral. Even if Derrick is never Derrick again this is a team that has assets, overseas assets, draft picks, etc to compete at a level if not high enough to challenge for a championship not to return to the completely unwatcha-bulls era. The one thing this new situation does not change is that tanking liquidates those assets for very little in return.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Fine. Derrick went the other direction. Throw me in with the wailing and gnashing of teeth crowd. Sink it. We're rebuilding now.

  • Per the Bulls twitter feed, Rose is done for the year. Let the tanking commence.

  • In reply to nolebron:


  • Doug - Great article. A couple of thoughts:

    - As you point out, at this point it seems fair to question whether Rose, if he comes back before the season ends, would even play at a high level.

    - I would like to go one step further and ask whether you believe Rose's injuries are freak accidents or due to his style of play. I would tend to think more the latter and wonder if its time to consider looking towards maximizing the chances of landing a different star player to build around.

    - This is why I advocate tanking. Obviously not guaranteed in any way, but the question is do you believe the bulls have a better chance of landing a star player in the draft, or through FA/trade? I would lean draft, especially a draft like this one. To ensure that you maximize seeding, why not trade enough players (eg Deng and Noah) to make it impossible to make the playoffs. Noah is hitting 29 or 30, so I think it's fair to wonder how many more golden years he has left before his career trajectory is downwards. Then you also have Charlotte's 2014 1st rounder to work with.

  • The Bulls will be borderline unwatchable while Rose is out. A starting line-up of Hinrich, Butler, Deng, Boozer and Noah just sends chills of anticipation up one's spine, doesn't it?

    We saw this movie last year, the one where we get to see a bunch of medium-skilled players try to outwork another team more talented. It was fun at times, especially when Nate went nuts. But now they expect us to watch the sequel, and we all know that sequels are rarely as good as the originals.

  • In reply to bjb57:

    Agreed. Mediocre is the most we can ask for, but in all honesty the team is lame without Rose. Nothing to watch here except a team full of scrubs jacking up bricks and playing defense.

  • In reply to bjb57:

    Why would you say something like that, according to the resident self proclaimed genius from you know where, the bulls have a collection of allstars, all NBA defenders and the 4rth best rebounder in NBA history(who buy the way can't block out a couple of stiffs named Robin and Timofey), not just some random collection of run of the mill, pedestrian role players, you know the kind of players that could lose their first 6 quarters of play without Rose by over 60 points.

    Don't forget/despair, we still have the best pair of starting forwards in the entire league(at least according to that same self proclaimed genius). How could you not be super excited to watch this much future HOF talent play basketball, even if we got rid of the guy who in Rose's absence won more games singlehandedly than everybody else combined, and provided all the excitement, such as there was.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Let's all 'Follow the Yellow Brick Road' to visit the Wizard of Paducahville.

  • Rose out for the year.

    Draft Lottery, Here We Come!

  • Its official, Rose done for the year, bulls management now on the clock to rebuild this team...DO IT NOW!!!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Its a damn shame that this team isn't talented enough to continue to be a contender without one player. I know Rose is or was a star player but he shouldn't have never been that much of a factor as far as the Bulls being a true contender...SAD...

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Or in other words, the Bulls management blunders to give Rose the real help that he's really needed is now biting them in their ads...KARMA IS A BIG BITCH SOMETIMES!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Do what's best for you D Rose and get well soon and forget all of the jackasses and their selfish comments.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Aside from the Heat -- maybe -- there isn't a team in the NBA that could contend without its best player.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    No, Roman, the Heat do not contend without LeBron. By contend we mean challenge for the title, not just make the playoffs. No team could do it.

    So, time for smart strategy here - trade for some higher picks, keep an eye out for value FAs for next summer. Next season could still be decent and a setup for contending for several years after that.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Do you really trust this incompetent non move making management team to actually make any kind of move to improve this roster for the future their gonna stand pat like they always do or probably trade for some more defensive stoppers

  • In reply to cashofb:

    The Bulls need to get on the phone with Mirotics people and tell him either come to the Bulls after this season or his rights will be traded. Its about the bulls future now and if this kid isn't ready, its time to let him go. And no I don't look for the Bulls FO to do anything and it will be incredibly stupid for them not to.

  • Do you think GarPax will have the balls to all out tank? I'm not sure they would, and as the Cavs/Wiz have showed us, might not always be the best plan.

    I think we should tank this year for a pick and hopefully get the Bobcats' pick as well. GarPax have done a good job drafting solid players. The biggest issue would be return on investment. I don't see GarPax selling off Taj/Noah/Butler/Deng for nothing (or a bad contract and a pick). Again, I think they should do this but I don't see them pulling the trigger.

    Also, it would take a huge adjustment from Thibs to play Teague/Snell to try and develop them. And he'd have to be ok with tanking, which I see him being furious about that and possibly requesting a Doc Rivers type trade. Not looking good for the Bulls. I'm just sad for Derrick as he might be the next Grant Hill/Penny Hardaway/What could have been superstar...

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    Gale Sayers, for Chicago fans old enough to remember.

    Thinking back on it, you could easily argue, that even though they played different sports, they attacked the game in the same physical style, unfortunately with the same physical results.

  • Hopefully, this plays out like the year San Antonio lost the Admiral for a season. They were able to parlay the suffering into Tim Duncan.

    Maybe the next dynasty in the NBA is destined to be led by a couple of home town heroes (Rose & Parker)?

    Like others have said, I'd rather get on with the rebuild sooner rather than later. The Bulls could be in a position to fast track the process if they are honest with themselves as an organization and recognize the position they are in competitively.

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    That's a really good example, but Tim Duncans come along once in a lifetime and even then, SA had to win the lottery that the Celtics were supposed to win.

  • fb_avatar

    Starters 2014
    D Rose
    C. Anthony
    2014 Draft Pick

    Trade: Deng & Noah to get C.Anthony
    Boozer for picks, bench players etc.

    However, with the Rose injury it will be hard to convince Anthony to come.

  • In reply to Daniel Sodera:

    Gibson will be traded.

  • In reply to Daniel Sodera:

    The Noah and Deng deal left the station a few years ago, and neither of those guys are Knicks kind of players. The Knicks need star power to keep those $5000 courtside seats filled.

    You have to give up picks just to dump Boozers contract, not get them, which is odd considering that he is the 4rth best rebounder in NBA history, even better than Dennis Rodman. I am totally baffled though, was he a better defender than Rodman too, there must be some pile of bogus advanced stats that could lead one to make that claim also.

  • When a guy suffers a season-ending injury just by cutting on the floor, you start wondering what all that conditioning was about.

  • Trade can save tons of money and pick up draft picks if they trade Deng, Gibson, Noah, Dunleavy, Hinrich & Boozer.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    The only one of those guys that would bring anything in return is Noah.

  • Well in light of the latest news, I guess we could use some gallows humor. So, on the bright side, all of you calling for Teague and Snell to get more time so that we can develop them into the future allstars that they are destined to become are going to get your wishes fulfilled, so there is that. Of course, we all knew that the only way for that to happen was a massive dose of injuries, which have likely only just begun.

    given the injury history of this roster, we may not have to actively tank, it could well just happen by normal attrition. By the end of the year, the only guy left standing could well be Mr. dufflebag himself. Who knows, by then we might even have the opportunity to bring in his midget clone, Ben Gordon, tell me that isn't something to look forward to. Deng, Hinrich and Gordon, our original "core" reunited on their way to the glue factory. Maybe Thibs will have a nervous breakdown and we can bring back Pink Floyd, or Del Bimbo.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I know you're joking, but Teague & Snell can both develop into rotation players, not to mention can help us tank in the short term should all the vets be dealt.

    I'd think Deng could be traded to a playoff contender for a lesser player on an expiring deal & a late 1st. Dunleavy & Kirk might be able to get you a couple of 2nds. Noah is a prize that could bring back a late lottery - mid rounder. Package Boozer & a future 1st rounder for an expiring. Like Deng, he could help a team make a playoff push.

    That leaves a core of Rose, Butler, Gibson, & Mirotic, cap room to sign a max deal & then some, & high lottery pick, 2 mid 1sts (one coming from Charlotte, possibly turns into '15 or '16), and a late 1st in a loaded draft.

    As has been mentioned here, very similar to the San Antonio situation in 1998. They survived the culture hit & have been winning ever since. Look at the Colts with Peyton going down. They have 1 year of a pathetic team to endure, and they're blessed with a generational QB the next. Turn this crisis into an opportunity. This is the year to do it.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    You, Shakes, and myself have similar ideas. Get some extra picks this year and get some good, young, cheap players to develop.

    Precisely how the FO can do that remains to be seen. Apart from Mirotic, I would consider trading anyone. If they get some real talent via trade or draft, that might also stimulate some solid FA signings. Meanwhile, it would be nice to deal Boozer - he's scoring well enough that some team may bite if the Bulls offer to eat some of his salary this year and next.

    The FO needs to take a few days to think this through.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I really would trade anyone too. This is basically a team that can start from scratch & a high lottery pick in a loaded draft, plus one that can get extra picks from what they do have, AND have potential stars like Rose & Mirotic join after the fact. This is a no brainer, grow some balls & tear it down for one year. It's a risk but some of that is mitigated by salary cuts + the loss of repeater tax.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I like the idea of reuniting Ben Gordon with Deng and Hinrich. Maybe we can sign Eddy Curry while we're at it.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    That is super news, BigWay. I am thrilled to hear that Teague and Snell will both become Allstars. That will make this rebuild so much easier. Heck, most of us would even have settled for one starter and one good bench player out of those two.

    All of us, Come up with a few workable trades to get the high picks, please. I'm thinking on them, but my mind is still in shock. Maybe that won't make much difference.

  • Now that Rose has been injured again, can you imagine the uproar had he returned last year and gotten the same injury? Everyone would be blaming the Bulls organization for rushing him back too soon.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    That is about the only "good thing" that can be said about this injury. Boy, would that have been an apocalyptic event, at least in Chicago.

  • No Nate Robinson or Bellineli, as I said earlier, karma can be a bitch and Thibs I'm sure is kind of loving this not because of Rose injury but because of his dislike for Gar Foreman.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And if the Bulls aren't trying to rebuild now they should consider going after someone that can score. The Sixers and Chicago guy Evan Turner could be had. I don't know what the Bulls FO would be willing to give up but something needs to get done if the rebuild isn't going to happen now.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I think if Thibs wanted Nate back, he'd be back.

  • Hopefully this means let the fire sale begin. It should be tanking time. Every win is a loss from here on out.

    Surely you can get some future assets for Noah and Gibson. Deng might be worth moving even if you get nothing of value in return just to aid the tank. Boozer stays to be the defensive anchor at tank command, plus amnesty candidate at year's end.

    Goal has to be a good pick with the Bulls' own pick, a mid range one with the Bobcats' pick, whatever picks this year or next year they get from trading players, bring over Mirotic and let them grow together with cap space in 2-3 years to bring in a player to compliment what they find out they have. If Rose gives you anything it's a bonus. It's a long shot but better than hoping they can salvage something out of this bunch.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I believe what you outlined is more or less a decent strategy. In fact, it's good enough that I would not consider it a long shot, that is, to return to the status before the Rose injuries. It may be a long shot to contend, but it's still a shot.

    However, the Bulls now have to try to develop Teague and Snell, and I do mean now. Plus they have to draft smart and be wise with any FA signings.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Yes, I meant it's a long shot to contend, you always need a lot of luck that you get the right picks at the right time.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    ^ Chi Ry like this!

  • In reply to Shakes:

    One thing to note about Boozer, & I suggested adding a future 1st to aid in moving him -- he has been the best player on offense and who else would score if the other vets were gone. But also even if he is amnestied, the Bulls still have to pay him. Rather that salary go somewhere else & pick up a couple extra "wins" by unloading him in a deal, allowing us essentially to trade that future first to move up in the lottery.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Under the new CBA, rookie contracts have become very valuable, even coveted. You don't trade a 1st of any kind to move Boozer.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I would move Boozer at any cost. Without throwing in a draft pick, sure, no brainer. If you have to throw in a late future 1st, I think it is worth it to try & move up in the lottery, plus they would save almost 15 million. I agree in their value.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Plus it would allow Taj to further develop his offense.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Under the new CBA, rookie contracts have become very valuable, even coveted. You don't trade a 1st of any kind to move Boozer. And Bulls won't!

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Also, our plans give an exciting Bulls team a chance to compete, while having cap space in 2016 when Durant is a free agent. Jimmy Butler & Taj Gibson would be the 2nd & 3rd largest contracts on the team, unless they chose to sign a true max player from now til then, & even still could have money for KD. brainer.

  • Can't even beat the laughable Jazz. Very good news for the tank. A loss is a win now.

    Don't think the players are tanking (and Thibs sure isn't) but they've just lost the will to live right now. Trade em and put em out of their misery.

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