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.

Bulls’ Lonzo Ball “nowhere near playing,” could miss entire season

New Orleans Pelicans v Chicago Bulls
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“I’m trying to stay positive, keep my hopes up. I would love to play. I would never count that out.”

Lonzo Ball tried to put an optimistic face on his recovery from a second knee surgery, but he was realistic and put no timetable on a return.

Bulls coach Billy Donovan was more realistic, speaking Saturday before the Bulls took on the Magic. Via Julia Poe of the Chicago Tribune.

“He’s made some progress, but I’d be the first one to tell you he’s nowhere near playing,” Donovan said. “He’s just not. Because he’s not running on a consistent basis. When he can get to that place where he can do that consistently and be able to come back the next day and do it again, do it again and do it again — I think you’ll feel a little bit more optimistic.”

Could Ball be out for the entire season? Donovan again, via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago:

“My guess would be – there’s not been a specifically set date – my guess would be I think we get through the All-Star Break, I think there would probably be everybody sitting down to talk about length and time of the season, how realistic is it for him to get back, if he could get back what would the minutes look like, is it not worth having him back just because it’s too much?’’ Donovan said. “I think everything, at least in my conversations with medical about him, have always been geared towards helping him get back to playing. Certainly once you get out of the All-Star Break, with the amount of time that’s left, basically you’re at the end of February. You have all of March and not even two weeks in April, so you start to get to that point where I think there will be some conversations of, ‘OK, if he’s still not close to playing, what’s the plan moving forward?’”

Ball has undergone multiple knee surgeries. The first was in January 2022 and the expectation at the time was he would return for the playoffs, but his knee didn’t respond well during rehab. That led to a second knee surgery, and recovery from that is going slowly as well. It leaves the Bulls in a tough spot, they miss his defense and his being a floor general on offense as they have struggled to a 23-26 record this season that sees them sitting as the No. 11 seed in the East.

Pelicans Trey Murphy III reportedly invited to participate in Dunk Contest

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We knew three participants invited to the All-Star Saturday night Dunk Contest: G-League fan favorite Mac McClung, the Portland Trail Blazers Shaedon Sharpe and the Houston Rockets’ KJ Martin.

The fourth slot in that event will go to the Pelicans’ Trey Murphy, reports Andrew Lopez of ESPN.

No doubt Murphy can throw it down with the best of them.

The Dunk Contest will headline All-Star Saturday night, Feb. 18, from the Vivint Arena (soon to be the Delta Center again). The event will be broadcast on TNT.

The Dunk Contest is the Saturday night headline event, but it has fallen flat in recent years. Adding a G-League dunker and young, bouncy athletes such as Murphy, Martin and Sharpe could make this one entertaining. However, what fans really want to see — what made the Dunk Contest must-watch back in the day when Jordan, Kobe, and Vince Carter were doing it — is the stars. There will be no Ja Morant, no Zion Williamson, and no Anthony Edwards in this contest.

LeBron James NBA all-time scoring record tracker

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has held the NBA all-time scoring record at 38,387 points since he retired in 1989. It is one of the most iconic records in sports and one thought by many that would never be broken, but LeBron James is on the verge of breaking that scoring record and doing it at age 38. How many more points does LeBron need to take over the scoring record? When is it projected to happen? Let’s break down the latest numbers (this will be updated after every Lakers game until the record is set).

How many points does LeBron James need to set the scoring record?
117

Abdul-Jabbar career points: 38,387
LeBron career points: 38,271

Lakers’ upcoming schedule:

Jan. 30 at Nets
Jan. 31 at Knicks
Feb. 2 at Pacers
Feb. 4 at Pelicans
Feb. 7 vs. Thunder
Feb. 9 vs. Bucks

When is LeBron projected to set the all-time scoring record:

LeBron is averaging 30.2 points per game this season, at that pace he would set the record on Feb. 7 at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder (if he does sit out Monday against the Nets, as the team announced).

Since he turned 38 (on Dec. 30), LeBron has averaged 35.2 points per game, which would see the mark broken at home against the Thunder.

News and notes on LeBron’s quest for the record:

• The Lakers have officially listed LeBron (and Anthony Davis) as out for the game Monday night in Brooklyn. That is the first game of a back-to-back for the Lakers, and they have rested LeBron in half of those for most of the season. This will push back the date he breaks the record, making it likely it happens at Crypto.com Arena.

• LeBron scored 41 points — and felt he should have had a couple more — in the Lakers’ overtime loss to the Celtics Saturday on national television.

• Sixers Doc Rivers on what impresses him in LeBron’s run to this record: “LeBron has done it so differently to me [thank Kareem]. Because LeBron is not a natural scorer. LeBron is a playmaker. He got criticized early in his career for making the right decisions. And the fact that he’s now about to break the scoring record, it really points out his greatness.”

• LeBron scored 20 points in the Lakers’ win over the Spurs, a game in which Anthony Davis returned from injury and Rui Hachimura made his debut as a Laker after being traded from the Wizards.

• What has Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said about LeBron passing his record? There has been a bit of frostiness between the two men, but Abdul-Jabbar was gracious in comments to Marc Stein back in 2021 about the possibility of his record falling: “I’m excited to see it happen. I don’t see records as personal accomplishments, but more as human achievements. If one person can do something that’s never been done, that means we all have a shot at doing it. It’s a source of hope and inspiration. Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile back in 1954. Since then, not only have 1,400 runners beaten that time, but the new record is 17 seconds less. We all win when a record is broken and if LeBron breaks mine, I will be right there to cheer him on.”

Watch Harden run onto court from bench mid-play to defend

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It takes a second to notice, but the 76ers had just four players on the court trying to defend the Nuggets on a late third-quarter possession.

But when James Harden — sitting on the bench — notices it, he stands up and runs into play, drawing a technical.

The technical foul was for having four men on the court, not on Harden specifically.

While that may have been a rare instance of Harden rushing to play defense, the 76ers as a team cranked up their defense in the second half against the Nuggets and went on to get the home win behind 47 points from Joel Embiid.