"This summer I'm going to take my talents to...."
Could you ever imagine Derrick Rose ever uttering those words? Or becoming a free agent and meeting with and working out for other teams? The people in Cleveland never thought they would see it from their hometown hero LeBron, but he scorned his hometown in front of a national audience and jetted to Miami to join an All Star tandem in the most self absorbed "look at me" announcement in sports history. Could the same situation ever arise for Bulls fan and Derrick Rose? In a simple word, no. Rose would never make a public spectacle of any kind of announcement, he's mild mannered and doesn't have the ego to ever go down that road. However, would Rose ever leave the Bulls for another team at some point in his career? That's where people are starting to disagree.
Former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy is one of those people who can envision Derrick Rose leaving Chicago some day. Talking to an Orlando radio station on Monday Van Gundy said he believes that if the Bulls can't pair Rose with a superstar on their own then Derrick may take matters into his own hands. ""(Rose) has got good players around him, very good players around him, but if (the Bulls) can't get another star there for him he is eventually going to look around and say, 'Hey, I've got to work this out on my own and I've got to find somehow to get somewhere else so that I will have a chance to play with another star.' The league has changed." Van Gundy has some first hand experience with a superstar wanting out as he was part of the never-ending Dwight Howard saga. Howard's situation was so disruptive to the team that not only did it last over the course of two seasons, but it cost Van Gundy his job and GM Otis Smith to resign. Howard got his way and is now a Laker while the Magic lost the face of their franchise and are in official "rebuilding" mode.
I can't say that I don't see similarities in Orlando and Chicago. Both have(or in Orlando's case, had) a superstar player surrounded by a bunch of other talented, but not as talented players. Both have struggled to add any pieces via free agency to get either team over the hump and take the pressure of their star players. Both are in the playoffs on a regular basis but never are hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy in the end. Without Rose or Howard the Bulls and Magic are two completely different teams and significantly downgraded in talent.
With all that said, I completely disagree with Stan Van. Not only are the Bulls more talented then the Magic, but they have a better core of players that mesh well and have pursued(though not successfully) to land big name free agents to pair up with Rose. The Magic never seemed able to land "the big fish" during the free agency while the Bulls were able to land Carlos Boozer, considered a consolation prize in the free agency pool featuring LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, but nonetheless a big name free agent. Stan Van believes the league has changed and superstars are trying to pair up, but Rose has never seemed to buy into that formula.
It's been public knowledge that in the summer of 2010 Rose did not meet with any free agents that the Bulls brought in with hopes of signing. Not that Rose didn't want any players to join the team, but didn't feel his presence would make or break a deal. This seems to tell a lot about Derrick Rose as a competitor. He seems to have an old school mentality, the kind that Jordan, Bird and Magic had in their prime. They would never have paired up with each other, not because they didn't like each other but because they wanted to prove they were the best and beat each other. Rose seems to be following this same mantra. He wants to beat LeBron and Dwyane, not join them. He wants to be the leader and face of the Bulls organization and lead them to multiple NBA titles, not play for an every day All Star team like Miami and Los Angeles.
It's reasons like these why I think Van Gundy is off on his thoughts that he could see Rose pulling a "LeBron" or "Dwight" and leaving the Bulls when his current contract is up and pursue pairing up with another Dream Team. Rose is a homegrown talent that gets to suit up for his hometown team on a nightly basis and he seems like a guy who would rather stick around when the tough gets going instead of looking for the easy way out and going after a championship featuring a team with multiple superstars.
The other side of things is there is no way the Bulls would let Rose walk. If Derrick was ever getting frustrated and voiced his displeasure with the structure of the team, you better believe the organization will do whatever it can to improve the roster. Even as Rose recovers from a torn ACL it looks as if the Bulls are going to do what they can to improve the team for him by making sure they have plenty of cap space for the summer of 2013, which is filled with plenty of big names that can improve the Bulls drastically.
The Bulls all ready made the smart decision to not match the offer to Omer Asik that the Houston Rockets offered and they will cut even more salary if they amnesty Carlos Boozer and his contract at the end of this season. The Bulls are likely to have enough space to get a pretty solid player to compliment Rose. While it may not be another superstar, it could be a 1-A player who is a scoring threat and causes opposing teams to not double team Derrick. It is that scenario that I see as the most likely and not the one that Stan Van Gundy sees Rose taking in the future. Rose has never wanted to be like LeBron, he wants to be like Mike. And as a Bulls fan, I have no problem like that whatsoever.
What do you think? Will Rose be a life long Bull or will he leave and pair up with other superstars? Who do you think the Bulls should pursue in 2013 to pair with Derrick? Sound off in the comments section.
Follow me on Twitter @MarcDykton
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