Luol Deng is going to be there for the Bulls. There is no wrist surgery coming following his Olympic experience for Great Britain, he will be there in camp — he’s not even sure what all the fuss over his wrist was about — and plans to lead Chicago next season.
How far can he lead them? Good question, because it’s Derrick Rose that takes this team places. With Rose they are a contender, without him after a torn ACL they were a one seed falling to an eight seed in the first round.
“It’s definitely going to be tough being without him,” said Deng of Rose’s loss. “He is a big part of everything we do, he is such a huge player to miss that much time but he has got to take his time and come back the best he can be.
“We’ve lost some guys I really wish had stayed, who I’m friends with and close with. But it’s my ninth year and the roster has been different every year.”
The Bulls reworked their bench so that come the summer of 2014 they will have a lot of cap space to go after a star to pair with Rose. No offense, Deng. But the Bulls clearly looked at their roster and thought it wouldn’t be able to compete with Miami as it is now, and they are planning an upgrade.
But even when Rose comes back the next couple of years might be tough for the Bulls. And their fans.
And if things are going downhill fast, maybe Deng will get that surgery after all.