Derrick Rose has reportedly patched up his beef with the Chicago Bulls.
Or it never existed in the first place.
The Rose-Bulls saga has been tough to read, because there has been so much innuendo with few – even under the cloak of anonymity – direct complaints. Have Rose’s injuries led to discord? What sides do ownership, the front office, coaches and other players take? As far as rifts, this one is mostly blurry.
But there was one exception: Derrick Rose’s brother complaining on the record the Bulls hadn’t built a good enough supporting cast around the point guard.
Considering that’s the strongest indication we have of a divide between Rose’s camp and the Bulls, maybe we don’t need to look too deeply into why Rose and the Bulls are on such good terms. The answer might be pretty simple.
Chicago had a good offseason.
Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott are impressive additions to a team that already includes Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy.
Rose can work with that.
Rose, via Nick Friedell of ESPN:
“I think this is the most talented team I’ve played on in my NBA career to tell you the truth,” Rose said after Team USA’s practice on Wednesday. “With all the players that I have, with the experience that everybody’s bringing to the table. And the way that everybody’s working out individually during the offseason and what I’ve been hearing.”
Rose is pleased with the efforts made by general manager Gar Forman and executive VP John Paxson in upgrading the roster.
“I have that sense that they went for it,” Rose said. “That they gave their all. We got who we could get and who wanted to come. And that’s who we have to ride with. We have a lot of confidence in the players that we just signed and we know that the guys that’s already there is working out very hard. So it’s just a matter of getting in the gym, working out together, jelling very quickly, since we’re not going overseas early.”
Rose has played for a team a team that went 50-16 and another that went 62-20 and reached the conference finals. Could this edition of the Bulls really surpass those two?
In terms of talent, maybe. One of those prior teams started Keith Bogans, and the other started Ronnie Brewer. Whether you consider Jimmy Butler or Mike Dunleavy the weak starter, he’s better than Bogans and Brewer.
However, there are diminishing returns on a team that features four solid big men. Ninety-six minutes might not be enough for Noah, Gasol, Gibson and Mirotic, and I doubt any of them can play the three with any regularity. Plus, Mirotic and McDermott might need time to adjust to the NBA – not a knock on their talent, just their readiness.
Undoubtedly, the Bulls are talented. How many wins that eventually translates into and how quickly Chicago reaches peak form are yet to be determined.
Of course, Rose’s health is the lynchpin. His brother can complain about the Bulls’ supporting cast and Rose can praise it all they want. Chicago isn’t reaching its highest goals unless Rose is healthy.
Without him, they’re not nearly talented enough.