The Bulls missing the playoffs this season signaled to the front office that it was time to try a new approach, which led Chicago to trade Derrick Rose to the Knicks, Sam Smith of Bulls.com relays. “We had this window of opportunity,” GM Gar Forman said at a press conference Wednesday. “Obviously, injuries played a part where we couldn’t reach our ultimate goal to be a championship team. But we thought we had a window to compete at a high level. But through injuries and age… we felt that window was coming to a close.
“A year ago you could start to see signs it was coming to a close,” Forman added. “But we didn’t have a lot of [financial] flexibility and we wanted to give the group as it was another year to see where we could go. We also talked about putting together a plan moving forward. We feel we need to get younger, get more athletic; obviously, we need to find players who will fit the style of play [Bulls coach] Fred [Hoiberg] wants to play and fit the players we have on our team. In making this trade, we feel it’s the first step in that direction.”
Here’s more from the East:
- Knicks team president Phil Jackson informed Rose that the team intends to go after unrestricted free agent Kevin Durant as soon as the free agent signing period opens in July, Frank Isola of The New York Daily News writes. Jackson hopes he can sell Durant on the idea of joining Rose, Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis in New York, Isola adds.
- Marc Berman of The New York Post breaks down the five most pressing issues facing the Knicks following the Rose trade.
- One potential scenario that will be considered by the Magic this evening is packaging the No. 11 overall pick along with the non-guaranteed contract of Ersan Ilyasova in exchange for a veteran player from a team looking to shed salary, John Denton of NBA.com writes. “The positive thing is that we have players that the league values,’’ said GM Rob Hennigan, who noted he’s received several trade inquiries from other teams. “This time of year, especially, you’re always having conversations, always listening and always trying to explore ways to improve your team. We’ve had several conversations and we’ll continue to have those conversations [Wednesday] and [Thursday].’’
- Hennigan did note that the Magic would prefer to retain the No. 11 pick and add a player who could join the rotation immediately, rather than deal it away, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel relays. “I think the preference would be someone who can contribute,” Hennigan said. “But with where we’re picking, we may have to lean more toward picking the best player on the board as we try to balance those two things. But the preference would be to find someone who can help us immediately.“