So is it Finally Time for the Derrick Rose Reunion in Chicago?
It feels like we have the Derrick Rose conversation every offseason. And since it is now the offseason, let’s have it one more time.
In case you missed it, Derrick Rose is most likely headed toward free agency this summer. The New York Knicks point guard has a team option for $15.6 million next season. And despite a strong relationship with head coach Tom Thibodeau, it’s hard to imagine the franchise handing Rose that much money. The 34-year-old appeared in just 27 games for the team this season. And their decision to focus on their young talent earned them a surprising trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Knicks will now surely look to upgrade portions of their supporting cast around Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle. With that being the case, Rose’s roster spot and $15.6 million could undoubtedly come in handy. So what does that mean for the veteran?
Well, HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto recently opined on the HoopsHype podcast that a reunion with the Chicago Bulls could make sense for Rose. And SNY’s Ian Begley didn’t hesitate to agree.
Scotto: … In my opinion, I think the Chicago Bulls make a ton of sense for Derrick Rose in free agency. It would be a nice homecoming for him towards the end of his career. We saw when he was back in town how beloved he is still by that fan base. They’ll be missing Lonzo Ball, and if they’re trying to compete and win, he’s an excellent bridge as a veteran mentor to some of the young guys on that roster, and I think he still has some gas left in the tank.
Begley: Obviously, they’re not going to pick up that team option, and he’s going to hit free agency… As far as the Bulls, I could totally see that.
Rose is a point guard and the Bulls have a massive hole at the position. In that sense, yes, looking at Rose as a potential free-agent target makes plenty of sense.
He also isn’t likely to net much on this next deal. If he isn’t signing to the veteran minimum, he surely isn’t going to take a hefty chunk from the mid-level exception, so the Bulls should be able to afford him quite easily (more on how much Chicago has to spend here).
Then, there is the whole idea of the emotional reunion and watching him potentially finish out his career in Chicago. If there is anywhere Rose can pull the last little bit of impact hoops out of him, it might very well be in front of his hometown crowd. Scotto is right to bring up that point as a motivating factor for potentially both Rose and the franchise. Not to mention, there are far worse veterans to have around guys like Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu.
With all that said, no one can sit here and pretend Rose is the answer to really any of the Bulls’ problems. Does he add to the point guard depth? Sure. But he’s never been a traditional facilitator nor can Chicago rely on him to stay healthy. The last time he played in 60+ games came during the 2016-17 season. He’s failed to appear in 27 or more games in each of the past two seasons. We simply do not know what he has left in the tank. And, even coming off the bench, the last thing the Bulls need is someone who they can’t trust to stay on the floor.
I’d also be remiss not to mention that Rose has shot just 43.2 percent from the field over the past two seasons. Plus, while we can give him some props for improving as a 3-point shooter over the years, it’s not like he’s become a high-volume threat. We all know how badly the Bulls need to prioritize shooting.
I’m not trying to be Mr. Fun Killer. I’ll freely admit that signing Rose would be an awesome story that would likely bring a bunch of happy fans into the United Center. But that also shouldn’t be what this front office is striving for!
Indeed, I can envision the Bulls doing this and milking the heck out of it while they ride through another season of mediocrity. It’s the perfect kind of low-impact move that feels far bigger. And, look, I’d love to be proven wrong! I’d love for Rose to return and prove to be a vital part of the second unit who helps push the Bulls into the postseason. But I’m just not confident that will happen. Likewise, there just isn’t really any way this move helps the Bulls long-term.
The last thing we should note for now is this: Karnisovas has looked at Rose in the past. When he hit free agency in 2021, the Bulls reportedly made the point guard an offer but it was far under what New York was willing to pay. With the market far less competitive now, it doesn’t feel out of the question that Chicago COULD land Rose. The question just remains, though, would it really make sense?