I suppose it's been a long time coming. The Bulls have finally made a trade. A blockbuster at that. Derrick Rose is no longer a Bull.
The Bulls are sending Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday and a 2017 2nd-round pick for Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon, per source.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 22, 2016
Reactions to the trade have been pretty all over the place. Some are offended, some are thrilled. Some are just impressed with the value the Bulls got in return. Some make fun of Rose for his knee problems, but that's just reductive. No, he's not the MVP anymore. No, he will not become that again. But there's more too it than just basketball.
Personally, I'm pretty sad about it. Rose was my favorite athlete of all time and I figured he would remain a Bull for his entire career. I thought the Bulls might break through and win a championship with him as the leader and they'd raise number 1 into the rafters. Rose was a symbol of hope and excitement for so many years. Watching him at his peak was an absolute gift that I'm so thankful to have experienced.
But 3 knee surgeries and 4 years later, it became clear those thoughts were just fantasies. Breakups are always hard, and this one is no different. It's bittersweet but it was time for the Bulls to move on from Rose. It never felt like Rose was going to be part of a trade, but the Bulls lost hope in him last year. It truly was time for team to move on, but returning value seemed impossible to gauge. It felt like it would be best to let next season ride out, and allow him to walk in free agency afterwards. But the Bulls did alright for themselves with the talent they acquired. Fortifying the starting center position, getting a placeholder point guard, a young talent with whom the Bulls were enamored in last year's draft and future draft pick is relatively good value for what Rose had become. The Bulls were not going to do better. Who knows what GarPax's plan is, but all indications point towards retooling around Jimmy Butler, which is the right move from a franchise building standpoint.
The Bulls were not winning a championship with Rose, as he is now. They're also not winning one with a starting lineup of Calderon, Butler, Dunleavy, Gibson/Mirotic and Lopez. That lineup won't lure the likes of Kevin Durant, Mike Conley or Al Horford. At the same time, it would be odd if the Bulls rebuild ended with the acquisition of a 34-year old point guard and a 28-year old center. Grant is going to be a nice player, but It feels like it may be just the beginning of a series of moves for the Bulls. Hopefully they'll try to flip those two for younger guys to own the rebuild, acquire young talent and get the team on track to be good again one day soon. Bulls fans need something about which they can feel hopeful, even if it's further down the line. This could be the beginning.
We can save predictions about the starting lineup or the direction of the franchise for later. For right now, it's time to say goodbye to Derrick Rose. Hopefully, this change of scenery is exactly what he needs to get back on the good side of fans and the media. I hope he will continue to progress towards regaining his former brilliance and become a darling of the NBA once more.
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