It appears Derrick Rose will have two options for surgery on his right knee, and sources tell K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that Rose is likely to choose the one that will keep him out longer. That presents the strong possibility that the point guard could miss the rest of the season, a loss that would likely knock the Bulls out of title contention in 2013/14.
Part of the reason Rose might opt for the surgery that could keep him out this season would be its long-term benefits for his 25-year-old body, since the other procedure could compromise his ability on the court. Still, more than two years removed from the last season in which he played in more than 60% of his team’s games, it’s worth wondering if Rose can ever regain his MVP form.
There are rumors of a rift between coach Tom Thibodeau and Bulls management, while Rose and soon-to-be free agent Luol Deng apparently have their resentments toward the front office as well. Even before Rose’s latest injury, it was been “widely assumed” the Bulls would shake up their roster next summer, Johnson writes. Perhaps those changes will come about sooner if Rose is indeed ruled out for the year, as the Bulls could try to shed salary via trades and slip beneath the luxury tax threshold, though that’s just my speculation.
Still, there’s reason for optimism in Chicago. The Bulls have a first-round pick coming from the woe-begotten Bobcats, and they have the rights to heralded European prospect Nikola Mirotic. Jimmy Butler is coming off a breakout season and could be an emerging star on the wing. Butler nonetheless has a ways to go before he becomes the sort of player that Rose once was.
Title hopes in the NBA fall and rise with superstars, and Rose might not fit into the superstar category anymore. Regardless, he’ll be paid like one through 2017. His maximum-salary deal, a product of the collective bargaining agreement rule that goes by Rose’s own name, still has $77.9MM on it, including this season. As the Knicks are realizing with an injury-ravaged Amar’e Stoudemire, it’s hard to build a championship roster with such a large contract committed to someone who can’t live up to it.
Many picked the Bulls to win it all this year, but less than a month into the regular season, can you see this team winning a title at all while Rose’s current contract is on the books? Let us know, and feel free to elaborate on the issue in the comments.