The idea of Derrick Rose not returning this season would be very disheartening for Chicago Bulls fans and basketball fans in general. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but let’s all just be realistic here. The Bulls are not winning the NBA championship this year.
Let’s say Rose does return, and is every bit of the basketball player he was before that dreary day in April of 2012. The Bulls instantly become “better,” but how much better?
There are some new faces on the Bulls roster since they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1st round as a #1 seed last season, but the team has remained basically the same in terms of talent and needs since last April.
Carlos Boozer is still non-existent on help defense, Rip Hamilton still can’t play more than 20 minutes without an oxygen tank, Nate Robinson has the heart of a lion, but the brain of a flamingo. Taj Gibson remains a solid defender, but needs to expand his offense. Marco Belinelli has won the Bulls some games this season, but his impact is usually minimal. Jimmy Butler is an emerging star, and a great story, but he has no real playoff experience. Luol Deng and Joakim Noah are key’s to the Bulls current success without Rose, but they can only take them so far. Oh, and the Bulls have Kirk Hinrich again….
The Bulls infamous “bench mob” actually still operates, it’s just with a few different faces this season. Same coach, same defensive-mind set, same front office. Same result.
The Chicago Bulls will not eliminate the Miami Heat in a seven-game series. Derrick or no Derrick. And we all know that in order to advance in the Eastern Conference, the train has to go through the often ref-friendly county of Dade.
The Bulls were easy pickings for the Heat two years ago, defeating them in five games. 2012 looked like it was going to be a rematch in the ECF, but Rose’s torn ACL and Joakim Noah’s ankle derailed that dream in the matter of 48 hours. Doesn’t matter though, because the result would have been the same. A quick exit.
Until the Chicago Bulls front office clears some of the Boozer money off the books, gets rid of an aging Hamilton, and has some money to lure a second weapon to complement Rose, preferably a shooting guard if you’re reading this Jerry…they don’t stand a chance to win the NBA finals.
Many Bulls fans were ranting and raving on social media today about the front office staying quiet as the trade deadline passed without a single move. Not sure why everyone is so hasty, the entire league stood pretty firm as the trade deadline passed, and the Bulls don’t have any money to take on anymore salary.
Even Derrick’s brother and manger, Reggie Rose, sounded off on the Bulls inactivity today. In a interview with ESPNChicago, Reggie said, “that the franchise hasn’t put enough quality players around his brother to win a championship and that could be a “big factor” in whether he returns this season from a knee injury.” Reggie said he was speaking for himself and not his superstar brother.
“What have you pieced together? Have you made any moves? Have you made any trades to get better?” “It’s frustrating to see my brother play his heart and soul out for the team and them not put anything around him,” Reggie Rose said.
Sure, these questions can be considered valid to a certain degree, but the Bulls front office is FINANCIALLY STUCK at the moment, hard capped at $74 million in payroll this season. There really wasn’t much that they could have done to improve this roster. This will be the FIRST YEAR in Jerry Reinsdorf’s life that he will pay the luxury tax. Poor Jerry.
Reggie continued his rant, “everyone is expecting Derrick to come back. If Derrick comes back, they’re going to sell more tickets. Is the reason for Derrick to come back to win a championship or make money? Right now, I don’t believe a championship. Everything in the NBA is financial.”
And I can’t agree more with that statement. Bringing back Derrick at this point will not help this team win a championship, only pushing more dollars into Jerry’s pockets because…you know…he’s got to make up for the luxury tax penalty he’s been avoiding since I was born.
Think about it…”The Return” has some major financial power at the moment, as Adidas has been toting that campaign since Derrick has been hurt, and the Bulls have a very loyal fan base, but let’s get real..if they flat out said Derrick would miss the entire season, ticket sales would have seen a dip. Again, poor Jerry.
Derrick’s future is not worth a mid/final-round exit in the playoffs this year. That’s the reality, and that’s the truth.
Follow Michael on twitter: @windycityiggy