The Bulls have engaged in exploratory discussions with Nate Robinson, who’s interested in returning to Chicago, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). The team is plotting its course in reaction to Derrick Rose‘s latest injury with some level of hope that Rose will play again this season, Charania adds. Coach Tom Thibodeau cautioned that he likes the team’s roster as constituted and that anyone the Bulls would sign into their open roster spot would be primarily for insurance purposes, as Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com and K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune relay (Twitter links).
Robinson, who started 23 regular season games and eight playoff contests for an injured Rose in 2012/13, has been a free agent since shortly after negotiating his release from the Celtics in a buyout deal last month, soon after Boston acquired him from Denver via trade. The Clippers and Cavs appeared to have interest in him soon after he came available, but the Clips made him a secondary priority and the Cavs reportedly decided not to pursue him after making a preliminary inquiry. There were conflicting reports regarding interest from the Wizards and Heat.
It’s the second straight year that Rose has turned up with a torn meniscus in his right knee, but there’s growing belief that it’s not as serious this time around, Johnson tweets. Johnson wrote earlier this week that Rose was told after his injury last year that it was possible another tear would occur and that the typical treatment for a second tear would entail a shorter rehab of three to six weeks, but Johnson’s latest story has that timetable at three to eight weeks. The postseason is seven weeks away.
The Bulls would be limited to handing out the minimum salary to Robinson, an Aaron Goodwin client. As long as he remains a free agent, he’d be eligible to take part in the playoffs for Chicago even if he signed on the final day of the regular season.