When Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose went down with a torn ACL in his left knee during the 2012 playoffs, it was a foregone conclusion he would play sometime during last season. But it did not happen, despite his being cleared to practice and consistent rumors regarding his status, making Rose the subject of controversy as the Bulls’ playoff run ended with a loss in the second round against the Miami Heat.
With training camps slated to start around the league soon, all reports suggest the former Rookie of the Year and league MVP is 100 percent healthy and over any mental hurdles that may have held him back last year. Rose himself has said he added muscle and worked on his all-around game during his rehab, and perhaps no player this side of Kobe Bryant will be as closely watched during the preseason.
Rose had his best season in 2010-2011, averaging 25.0 points (seventh in the league), 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game, and he has averaged at least 20 points per game in three of his four seasons as well as at least six assists and over three rebounds per game in all four of his NBA seasons. So fantasy basketball owners have surely been happy with how Rose fills the stat sheet, and that should continue this year as long as he remains healthy.
Only the most optimistic, and perhaps aggressive, fantasy owner would use their first-round pick on Rose right now. But if he still has some untapped potential, and since he will still be only 25 years old by the time the season starts it’s possible he does, Rose is a rare early-round pick that has significant upside as long as he avoids any setbacks with his knee.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.