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.
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.