Derrick Rose

Report: Derrick Rose to have surgery Monday, likely to repair meniscus and end season

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Derrick Rose will have surgery on his right knee on Monday, coach Tom Thibodeau said Sunday.

Rose has a choice with getting his torn right meniscus repaired, although both options involve surgery (and it depends somewhat on the tear itself).

Both options have big impacts on the Bulls front office and its next move.

One option is to have the meniscus just removed — that gets you back on the court more quickly, he could go in the playoffs this season most likely, but it would shorten his career.

Removing the meniscus is what Dwyane Wade had done 11 years ago. Remember how he has looked at the end of the last few seasons.

The other option is to have it repaired, which likely extends Rose’s career but would mean roughly six months of recovery, ending his season.

Repair is what Russell Westbrook just had done. He injured himself in April and was not ready to play at the start of this season a little more than six months later. However, his explosiveness is back.

Rose is leaning toward getting it repaired, reports K.C. Johnson at the Chicago Tribune.

Sources said Rose likely will opt to have the meniscus reattached, which would be better for the long-term but sideline him longer. Team physician Brian Cole, who repaired Rose’s left ACL, is the leading candidate to perform this surgery as well.

If he is out for the season, Rose will have played 50 total games the last three seasons Johnson points out.

That has long-term impacts for the Bulls. Understand that in the East — especially one struggling like it is now — the Bulls are a playoff team still without Rose and maybe even still a top 5 seed. But they are not title contenders.

They had kept the band together with Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer, then brought in Mike Dunleavy Jr. to benefit from Rose’s drive-and-kicks, thinking that they would have a shot at a title. Without Rose there is no shot.

Which means likely means changes and planning to the future.

Aggrey Sam spells it out at CSNChicago.com.

If that goal, a belief that was held throughout the organization, is judged to no longer be in the realm of possibility, then looking toward a future that includes All-Star center Joakim Noah, top reserve Taj Gibson (in a slightly more prominent role, as the decision to amnesty power forward Carlos Boozer would be made easier), currently sidelined swingman Jimmy Butler (and potentially, his fellow 2011 draftee Nikola Mirotic, last season’s Euroleague MVP) and Rose as the nucleus might be the way to go. Figuring out who’s a keeper amongst second-year point guard Marquis Teague and rookies Tony Snell and Erik Murphy becomes a priority, as does immediately exploring Deng’s present value around the league — getting his full worth in return is virtually impossible, as he’ll be considered a half-season rental entering unrestricted free agency, but surely there’s a team out there that views him as a missing piece to making a postseason run and perhaps convincing him to stick around in the future in the process, while allowing the Bulls to not risk him walking away for nothing — and even Boozer’s.

What Sam also doesn’t mention is that if you amnesty Boozer the Bulls would have almost $13 million under the cap to offer a free agent a near max deal to join that core. That’s not going to land LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony (‘Melo would be a poor fit with Rose anyway), but the money plus playing in Chicago for a contender might lure second tier guys like Pau Gasol, Danny Granger, Rudy Gay (don’t like that fit personally) or other guys who might fit well like Spencer Hawes. Or you can save that money to go after guys in the 2015 free agent class.

Look for the Bulls to start making moves. As long as Rose does decide to go ahead with the repair.

Report: Rockets return Donatas Motiejunas to restricted free agency, working on new contract with him

Donatas Motiejunas, Kenneth Faried
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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The Rockets had Donatas Motiejunas in a bind.

He was beholden to them on a four-year, $31 million deal and unable to sign with other teams. Motiejunas’ choices: Report for a physical or wait in limbo.

But apparently Houston has allowed him out of that constraint.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

This means Motiejunas can’t sign with the Nets, who signed him to the original offer sheet, for one year.

I bet it also means Motiejunas and Houston have agreed to a new contract. Otherwise, why release him from the offer sheet? The Rockets would be giving up a tremendous amount of leverage out of the goodness of their hearts – unless this is just a prelude to a new deal with Houston.

John Wall pushes down Jusuf Nurkic from behind in retaliation (video)

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John Wall didn’t like how Jusuf Nurkic bumped him, so Wall shoved the Nuggets center from behind and sent him to the floor.

An overreaction to the bump? Probably. Wall got hit with a technical foul.

But I’m mostly just impressed Wall was strong enough to push over Nurkic.

DeMar DeRozan throws down massive dunk against Timberwolves (VIDEO)

derozan
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DeMar DeRozan is having one of those seasons for the No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors. During Thursday night’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 124-110, DeRozan scored 27 points while adding eight rebounds, five assists, and shooting a whopping 13 free throws.

DeRozan also sealed the victory in the final minute with a huge put back dunk.

The Raptors led by 9 points with a minute left as they were inbounding the ball. A long pass from the baseline to a streaking DeMarre Carroll resulted in a blocked layup, but DeRozan was there to clean up the mess.

Via CJZero on Twitter:

Three things we learned Thursday: Memphis, Marc Gasol just win every close game

Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) shoots between Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu, from left, center Mason Plumlee, and forward Jake Layman (10) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Associated Press
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Here’s what you missed Thursday around the NBA while you were drinking homemade glow-in-the-dark beer with jellyfish genes in it (no, you try it first, I insist)…

1) Don’t play Memphis in a close game, they just find a way to win.
Last week, when Mike Conley went down with a back injury and was going to miss six weeks (give or take), we questioned if Memphis could keep their heads above water. They promptly went out and lost to a very good Toronto team.

Since then they have won five in a row, capped by an impressive 88-86 win over Portland Tuesday. Impressive because:

• Memphis is now 12-0 in games that were within 3 points in the final minute. You get in a close game with Memphis, you lose. (Statistically, we know some of that is luck, that there will be some regression to the mean, but that stat has propelled a team has been outscored by nine points this season, one that should be 12-12, to the 16-8 record they have.)

• Memphis trailed Portland 79-68 with less than five minutes to go, and still won.

Marc Gasol had 36 points and has been an absolute beast since Conley went down, doing whatever it takes to win.

• Toney Douglas — a guy the Grizzlies just picked up off the street this week, basically — comes in and is clutch down the stretch for them, including hitting the game-winning free throws with 0.5 seconds left (Damian Lillard tried to argue the call, to no avail).

The schedule gets tough for Memphis the next couple of weeks — Golden State, home-and-home with Cleveland, then Boston and Utah looming not long after — but do not doubt the Grizzlies. No team is as resilient as this bunch.

2) Bulls prove Spurs aren’t perfect on the road. It was bound to happen, the San Antonio Spurs were 13-0 on the road, they were going to stumble at some point. That point turned out to be Thursday night in Chicago, where the Spurs came out of the gate like they went out and had a big pregame meal of Lou Malnati’s pizza — 32 points on 30.6 percent shooting in the first half for San Antonio. The Spurs didn’t defend poorly, for example Kawhi Leonard held Jimmy Butler to no first-half points — in fact, midway through the first quarter Taj Gibson and Robin Lopez had scored almost all the Bulls’ buckets — but the San Antonio offense was dreadful. Throw a little credit to the Chicago defense if you want, but this was more San Antonio stumbling than a Chicago return to the Thibodeau era.

The Bulls were up 12 at the half and were able to hang on despite a strong second 24 minutes from Leonard (17 of his 24 came in the second half) and get the win. Dwyane Wade had 20 points and hit a couple of key buckets late to stabilize Chicago. For a Bulls team that is going to be in a playoff battle all season — they are the seven seed right now, one game ahead of the Pacers in ninth — these kinds of wins at home can prove huge.

3) What is it with Minnesota and second half? On the road, the Minnesota Timberwolves had played the Toronto Raptors even for the first 24 minutes — it was 59-59 at the half. And yet, there was a sense of dread for Timberwolves fans because all season their young team has just come apart in the third quarter — and then Toronto opened the second half on an 11-2 run. Minnesota, to their credit, crawls back into it, but midway through the fourth the Raptors go on a 17-4 run sparked by Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, and the Raptors pull away for the 124-110 win. The Timberwolves lost another game because they can’t defend well.

Minnesota shows flashes of the kind of brilliance that has everyone thinking they might be a contender in a few years. But we all expected too much too soon from this group. Those impressive stretches are followed by ones where they play like a young team, they don’t defend well, and they throw those good efforts away. Not that they were going to beat a good Toronto team on the road, but the Timberwolves can be frustrating to watch. Patience is hard, and Minnesota fans are being asked to show a lot of it. We can debate if it’s time to bring Ricky Rubio off the bench and let Kris Dunn sink or swim, but that’s not the core problem. Ultimately, the Timberwolves are young and playing like it. They don’t know how and aren’t putting in the effort to defend well yet. Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, they can be the core of a contender eventually, but there is a lot of learning to do along the way. Tom Thibodeau can teach them. But it’s going to require patience.