The news of the latest injury to Derrick Rose, a torn meniscus that will require surgery, is devastating on multiple levels.
You have to feel for Rose personally, of course, considering all of the hard work he put in to come back from an injury to his other knee that forced him to miss all of last season.
And for Bulls fans, depending on how much time he ends up missing, it could mean the end of any hopes of contending for a title this season — not only because of the absence of Rose, but also because of what the franchise may choose to do with other key players on the roster.
From K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Knowing Rose would return, management kept the 2013-14 Bulls intact for one, final championship run. Whether the reshaping of the roster, widely assumed to transpire next summer, will be accelerated could depend on for how long Rose is sidelined.
If Rose misses the remainder of the season, attempts to trade Luol Deng, who can walk as an unrestricted free agent next summer, could be accelerated.
It makes sense for the Bulls to try to get something in return for Deng, a two-time All-Star who is highly regarded by many of the league’s head coaches, and someone that management deemed wasn’t worthy of a contract extension. But with everyone well aware of the situation in Chicago, it’s more than likely that the Bulls won’t get what they would consider equal value in any trade offers.
There’s also Deng’s impending free agency to consider, so whatever teams do show interest would need assurances that Deng would have an interest in re-signing with his new club next season, and at a contract number agreeable to both parties.
The scenario is a complicated one for the Bulls front office, but right now it’s just something to look at. No decisions need to be made on the personnel front until it’s discovered whether or not Rose will be lost for the bulk of the season.
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. Those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings, and with that team’s playoff chances have taken a hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers). Don’t be surprised if the Kings look to add a scorer at the trade deadline.
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and said he planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).