The Chicago Bulls were hoping that Derrick Rose would use his Team USA opportunity this summer to reassure Bulls fans and the NBA that he is healthy and ready for the coming season, but that may not happen.
As reported, Rose is still unsure whether or not he will attend the Team USA Basketball training sessions later next month, and he most likely won’t make his final decision until much closer to the start of training camp. Rose has been participating in full contact and five-on-five drills for over a month, so his health isn’t as much of a concern as his conditioning and continued rehabilitation at this point.
All signs point to Rose being 100 percent to open the 2014-15 season, but then again, we’ve all heard that before.
If Rose and his agent B.J. Armstrong decided against him participating in USA Basketball training (and potentially making the team), fans will once again be heading into next season in the dark. We all want the Rose of old to return, but there is a little faith right now. Without seeing him play at a high level, it’s nearly impossible to hope for the same MVP-level of play.
Playing with Team USA this summer could only help Rose. With a team loaded with fellow superstars like Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Chris Paul, Rose would not have to carry a large burden. He would be able to ease back into actual game action, and gain some confidence in both his game and his knees before the season starts.
Regardless of the free agent moves made this summer, Rose is still the key to the Bulls’ ability to challenge for a championship. His healthy is the team’s No. 1 concern, but getting him back into game shape and building his confidence, something he wasn’t able to do through his 10 games played last season, should be a close second.