Derrick Rose begins Team USA practice today, Jimmy Butler off the select team with groin injury

At least it's not Derrick Rose, that would have caused a panic. Jimmy Butler has passed on participating with the team USA select team "due to a slightly strained groin injury". Derrick Rose will still be there though, and I think that's what we're all most concerned with.

There haven't been so many quotes about Rose so far this off-season, there was one from "sources who saw Rose workout" a few weeks ago that he looked really good. Noah had this to say about Rose a few days ago:

“I’m really proud of him,” Noah said of Rose’s second knee rehabilitation. “He sacrificed his whole summer to be the best that he can be. That’s all you can do. People’s expectations, all that stuff doesn’t matter. I’m just proud of him for putting in the work that he put in to be in the best position possible. He has helped us out too with our foundation. I have nothing but love for him.”

That doesn't necessarily read like Derrick Rose is a bad ass, since it focuses on how hard he's tried and not how good he looks. Of course, who knows how much Noah has even seen Rose play. That's why Team USA will be a good barometer. I doubt we'll hear any of the players say anything bad about Derrick, but what we can hope to hear is answers to open ended questions come up with his name.

Like "who looked really good out there? Derrick Rose" might have a lot more meaning than someone asking "Did Derrick Rose look good out there? Yes". Either way it will just be a tidbit of information, and Derrick will have plenty of competition to make the team. The NBA is stacked with PGs right now, and his game doesn't necessary translate that well to international basketball.

That said, if he can't make the team, it should set expectations for fans in a realistic spot. We talk about Rose as a potential superstar, but if he can't make at least the third PG on the team when Chris Paul isn't even participating it's a sign that Derrick's less likely to take the NBA by storm right out the gates.

That wouldn't be the worst thing. The worst thing would be another major knee injury. However, starting off slow and playing himself into form is fine. The Bulls don't need a superstar Derrick Rose in July, nor do they really need one in October, November, or December. They need one starting in April.

Team USA? It probably won't be Derrick's best work and that's okay. If he's healthy enough to play through all the practices and has no setbacks then that's a successful enough trip for me. If he makes the team and plays well then all the better as I'm sure fans would love to see Derrick on the court even if the competition is likely pretty lousy up until the semi finals/finals.

As for Butler? Groin injuries suck. They take forever to heal and are easily aggravated. That said, we're in July, there shouldn't be any issues with him being healthy for training camp, so no big deal. Kind of a bummer for Jimmy that he'll have been left off the select team which would have been a nice experience, but health is obviously more important.

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    This is really a missed opportunity for Jimmy Buckets. It's a contract year for him and practicing against the best talent in the NBA would have done wonders for his confidence as it did with Taj.
    No one seems to mention Jimmy these days, but I expect him to have a breakout season. Jimmy's flying under the radar.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    Agreed Michael, and how many games has Jimmy played alongside Rose? I don't know the answer, but it's not many.

  • I look at it this way... was this a missed opportunity for Butler to compete against great NBA talent? Yes. Might this have done helped his overall game? Yes. Would we like to see Butler develop into a great 2-way star and give the Bulls their own version of Kawhi Leonard? Yes.

    But the biggest way Butler can help the 2014-2015 Bulls, is to hoist 3 point shots. If the only thing Butler can improve on is his 3 point shot, his offseason has to be considered a success. If I can get all-world defense, 40% 3pt FG%, 85% FT%, and the ability to drive, draw contact and get to the free throw line, I'd be happy. Dont need 20 ppg. But Bulls need a consistent 12-15 via outside shooting and free throws.

    The injury while annoying shouldn't preclude him from continuing to put up shots. Would like to see a little more arc on the shot and a confidence that he can shoot from anywhere on the court and its going in.

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    In reply to ripiceman:

    Jimmy has never come anywhere close to 40% from deep, either in college or the pros. We have enough of a sample size now to say, with some degree of confidence, that he'll never be much of a shooter. Despite his great D and work ethic, that makes him expendable in my book.

  • In reply to Steve Merritt:

    Not exactly true, I guess that it depends on what you call anywhere close, he shot 38% in 12-13, followed by 43.5% in those playoffs. He also shot over 38% in last seasons playoffs.

    I doubt that he ever becomes an elite shooter, but he could become a quality shooter at least from the corners, especially when surrounded by better offensive talent that he was last season. Not counting on it, but it is within the realm of reasonable expectations.

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    In reply to BigWay:

    It is exactly true -- look at his collegiate and pro stats.

  • In reply to Steve Merritt:

    I just gave you the stats, maybe you need to look at them, 38% is somewhere near 40%.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Lots of bad shooters have become effective from the corner three spot. Look at Trevor Ariza, an atrocious shooter. He spent five years at 33% or less. Then the last two years, 36 and 40%. The reason is that the Wizards taught him to shoot the three from only the corner when he is wide open, nothing else. Butler can do that.

  • Butler didn't look like a defensive stopper vs, SG sized guys like Wall and Beal, but if he was slowed by injuries(?) then maybe that was an anomaly. Bottom line: in the only season with any volume (three attempts per game) from beyond the arc he shot .282 and that hurts the offense. If he can shoot 35% and up on any volume then he yes he's an asset. If however he continues to struggle from three with volume then I'd prefer a trade then paying/retaining an offensively limited player i.e a wing who can't shoot..

    As for Derrick, I might watch a little of the televised practice today on DVR if it's any good/shows any good glimpses. Hopefully he plays/shoots well i.e looks good out there. Though he seemed out of place on the last USA team and shot horribly from the floor. Despite following this with his MVP season.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Is today's practice televised? I'm only seeing tomorrow's on NBA TV at 2 p.m. CST.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    sorry meant tomorrow

  • Just responding to some comments in yesterday's blog: I'm excited about Mirotic but I think people are making a major mistake comparing him to Love. Yes, they're both stretch fours who can hit the three, but that's about where the comparison should end. Kevin Love is a dynamic scorer, a double-double machine and one of the 10 best basketball players in the world. Mirotic is an unproven prospect who projects to becoming a solid role player, like a starting PF. I'd be surprised if he became a bust but equally surprised if he became a NBA superstar like Love. People expecting as much are setting themselves up for disappointment.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    How do you know, Roman? Mirotic is considered the best European player at this moment. He was considered top 4 pick if he was drafted this year. I think he can reach an All Star level, just like Love, as long as he put on some muscles. I agree with you that he is an unproven player, but I don't agree with you on his celling.

  • Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Dirk, Boris Diaw, Nic Batum, the Greek Freak, Danilo Galinari, Pekovic, Vucevich, Gortat, Asik....there is some serious talent in the NBA from Europe already and Mirotic is the most proven young talent of the bunch. His shooting is going to be amazing, and I think his defense and ability to create scoring chances with the ball will be better than people expect. I would be surprised if he doesn't make 2-3 all star games in his career.

  • Health is my biggest concern for the Bulls going forward and not just Derrick Rose. I get it that injuries are apart of the game but they tend to plague the Bulls in such a way that it makes us a different team entirely by the end of that season from the start. On paper we are the favorites hands down, but injuries can change all of that. Derrick Rose is coming back from 2 knee surgeries and there's no telling what kind of player he is now, Gasol is 34 years old and also coming back from surgery, Noah and Taj both have had a history struggling with injuries, as well as Kirk Hinrich. So I have my fingers crossed for a healthy season as I see health as our biggest obstacle.

  • Highly doubt that Rose makes the team, even if he looks healthy. Curry is a lock due to his shooting, Lillard is a vastly superior 3 point shooter, so it comes down to Rose vs Irving who seems to thrive in these all star type settings. Not sure but didn't they add John Wall to the tryouts also. Maybe they take more PG's due to a lack of SG's, but 4 would be a stretch and 5 out of the question.

    Jimmy could have used the experience of the select team. I wonder how bad his injury is, normally you expect him to play through these type of injuries, is he afraid of the challenge?

  • i am glad he is trying out, but i would like rose not to make the team. he doesn't need to add a bunch of intense practices, travel and games to a 100 game season

  • B/R has some footage from practice. The uncontested dunk isn't nearly as encouraging as the drive to the basket (and finishing) while getting fouled. Either way, there's at least a little reason for optimism.

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