When the Chicago Bulls signed superstar guard Derrick Rose to a 5-year, $94 million extension last December, eyebrows were raised around the league, but in the context of his recent NBA MVP season in 2011, it made sense.
In light of Rose’s recent rash of injuries– and apparent inability to get healthy–things are little less clear.
Is it possible the Bulls spent too much on Derrick Rose, and made too long of a commitment, riding the high of his 2011 performance?
So far in this strike-shortened 2012 season, Derrick Rose has missed 22 of the Bulls’ 57 games, with a variety of toe, ankle, and groin injuries. Rose missed only one of the Bulls’ 82 games during the 2011 season in which he established himself as one of the professional game’s rising young stars.
Although hampered by injury, Rose has still averaged a solid 23 points per game and 7.9 assists per game when on the floor, and the Bulls are winning without him present.
At 43-14 through 57 games, Chicago controls their destiny in the NBA’s Central Division, and should be the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference when the playoffs roll around in a few weeks.
The Bulls are a good team without Derrick Rose, but they are a great team with him on the floor.
The $95 million investment made in Rose by Bulls’ management was at least in part on the assumption he will be able to maintain a level of health and production similar to what he enjoyed in 2011 going forward, and through the life of the extension.
If Derrick Rose continues to be as brittle as he has been this season, are the Bulls getting their money’s worth?
Some will argue the wins cure all ills, and regardless of how many games Rose misses, if the Bulls are still competitive without him, his presence enough is worth his monthly paycheck.
This viewpoint is understandable, but as is the case with any professional athlete, there is a point of diminishing return where production no longer equals the team’s investment in the player.
For injury-prone players, this point of diminishing return comes with haste– and without mercy– and can render huge investments worthless in a very short period of time.
Obviously, I don’t wish Derrick Rose any harm, in fact it’s the opposite– I hope he has a long, and prosperous career free of injury.
It’s about reality though, folks, and consistent injuries could easily sidetrack his career, regardless of how humble he may be.
If this happens the Bulls will have broken the bank for a short-lived return.
More articles on Derrick Rose’s struggles with injuries this season:
Derrick Rose Tweaked His Ankle and Could Miss Time: http://bit.ly/HwKF4b
Injuries to Derrick Rose May Cost Bulls Title: http://bit.ly/HfqzIX
Bulls Should Sit Derrick Rose for Rest of Season: http://bit.ly/HQEmVK