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Report: Derrick Rose out until likely March; Bulls close to Belinelli deal

Jul 23, 2012, 11:23 AM EDT

Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose listens to coach Tom Thibodeau during their NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Chicago Reuters

Bulls’ management will deny it, but this entire summer in Chicago felt like the Bulls have written next season off and will target 2013-14. And maybe beyond that.

The Bulls are about to make a deal for Marco Belinelli — the shooting guard with a sweet three-point stroke who played for the Hornets last year — something has been rumored for a while and is now close, reports K.C. Johnson at the Chicago Tribune.

He also reports the Bulls are unlikely to match the Rockets offer sheet to Omer Asik, three-year, $25 million deal. The Bulls have brought in guys this summer to round out the roster — Kirk Hinrich, Vladimir Radmanovic, Nazr Mohammed — but all on shorter term deals.

Those deals likely mean the Bench Mob — which was a key part of the Bulls success last season — takes a step back next season.

It all comes back to Derrick Rose. Johnson’s fantastic piece at the Trib looks at the totality Bulls moves in total this summer and seems them looking ahead.

Management will say its financial decisions are cloaked in basketball reasons. With Rose out until likely March, next season is a treading-water season. So instead of depth being the secondary star, the Bulls hope to add a legitimate one alongside Rose.

With Hinrich, Belinelli, Radmanovic and Mohammed all signing short-term deals, the plan to clear major salary-cap space in 2014 will remain intact. That’s also when Luol Deng‘s contract expires, Nikola Mirotic could come over from Real Madrid and Carlos Boozer likely will be a victim of the amnesty provision.

The Bulls will enter that free agency with a lot to offer — Rose, a big city, a chance to win — but it is also a risk. Bulls’ fans know that from the summer the team chased Dwyane Wade and pretty much any of the big three that ended up in Miami.

Rose will return when he returns — Christmas may be the earliest, March more likely — but traditionally guys coming back from ACLs take a little while to really return to form. Part of it is physical (conditioning, getting their leg strength back up) and part of it is mental, really trusting the knee again to make the explosive moves and sharp cuts they did before.

That could hold the Bulls back this season. So they have clearly started to look down the line.

  1. southbeachtalent - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    What a bad break for these guys. Just gut wrenching.

    • 91devinhester23 - Jul 23, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      it’s really hard as a longtime bulls fan to watch a solid hardworking team get destroyed by bad luck while Miami gets all the luck. Here’s to hoping we get a solid SG draft pick after this year and take it to them 13-14.

  2. liljere24 - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    The bulls go as Rose goes, which is no where this year. That’s what happens when you bank on all your scoring from the point guard

    • charleslee84 - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:57 AM

      any team that loses its star player is ‘going nowhere’. Position hardly matters in this case.

  3. miamatt - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Terrible news for Bulls fans, but if it is true, then treading water for a season is the right thing to do. Getting Rose back to full health is the only thing that really matters, and if it takes until March for that to be the case, then so be it. Rushing him back in December or January to try to save this season could have disastrous results.

    If Rose gets back on the court late in the year so he can go into the summer of 2013 knowing he tested the knee in real game action, so he can have a normal offseason regimen, then call it a win for Chicago. Rose is still so young, caution and patience are in order.

  4. hwatt - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    uuuugh… this is going to be a long season. Even with all the low talent signings, the source article says the Bulls will still be close to the cap and go into tax. Did I read that right?? Dag boozer, thanks for everything….

  5. gmsalpha - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    What’s the problem? Sacrifice one season, get a decent draft pick, amnesty Boozer, and most importantly, let Rose FULLY heal. This upcoming season will suck, but they will be in great shape after that. No sense in risking Rose’s long term health when you’re best outcome is a first round playoff exit.

    • pudgalvin - Jul 23, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      And let’s keep in mind that two summer’s ago, people didn’t look at the Bulls signing’s of Brewer, Korver and Watson and say, “Yep, these are great moves that will make them an elite team.” GarPax has shown that they know what they’re doing with role players at least a little bit. They may not have gotten better, but I don’t believe they got much worse either.

      When Rose is back, they’ll still have the 5 most important players from the last two years, and that’s more important than having a couple specialty players as the 8th and 9th men in the rotation.

  6. blueintown - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    This isn’t a “tread water” season. It’s a “drown it in the bathtub” season. This free agency cap clearing crap does not work for them. It didn’t in ’98, it didn’t a couple of summers ago, it won’t in ’14. TRADE. MARKET.

  7. fnc111 - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    What some homers and the Bulls management don’t understand is they will never get an big time FA there. Players don’t want to play in the Midwest cold winters. Bulls are finished. Rose will be traded in three years. Stern only allows the LA, New York, Miami and Boston teams to win anyways.

    • gor76 - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:22 PM

      Remember when Stern only used to allow the Chicago team to win?

      • gor76 - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:59 PM

        I like to call that “the 90’s”. Ah, the memories… NBA’s Garbage Swept Out Door, Grant Park Rallies, Rodman’s head slowing traffic on the Kennedy…

    • pudgalvin - Jul 23, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      Since it doesn’t get cold in New York or Boston I totally agree with you.

  8. jagsfan11 - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Well still make the playoffs

    • badintent - Jul 23, 2012 at 1:06 PM

      And out in first round, Melo pours in 40 a game, Knicks go on to face Magic or Hawks next and win, then face Heat in Eastern Finals, where JP Morgan offers LBJ his own company IPO ( bribe) and Knicks win.And Spike Lee gets throw in Federal jail for violating the Civil rights of his victim, the WRONG Zimmerman family .Dat Sucker MC straight down. !

    • dadawg77 - Jul 23, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      As a Bull fan, I rather not make the playoffs next year. A chance for a top pick is better for the team then the eighth or seventh seed. Bulls need a second option as Boozer has failed and Deng isn’t much of a scorer. The team’s only shot at a lottery pick is next year (well hopefully Rose doesn’t suffer another major injury) as Rose himself will put a team in the playoffs. Top draft pick and cap room in 14 might be the best way to the Bulls getting a Big Three.

      • lmoneyfresh - Jul 23, 2012 at 1:56 PM

        The bulls have their replacement for Boozer with Mirotic and Taj. That’s why losing a year really isn’t as bad as it seems. Now they can let Teague and Butler develop too. That is why it makes sense to pick up cheap vets for the next year or two and continue developing their talent in-house.

  9. thenmoveback - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Sucks for Rose, not a bulls fan but he is a great player and I would rather watch the Heat beat the bulls with rose playing.

  10. aboogy123456 - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    I think this is a lost season for the bulls and the article is right that they need to have one more star alongside rose. They should still keep the core of taj gibson, noah, deng, and rose, but if they can free up salary cap then the bulls will be an attractive place for free agents as well.

    In my opinion, they should go ahead and amnesty carlos boozer now rather than next year. I hate to say tanking, but they should try to get the other players experience, and then hopefully they can land a high draft pick who can possibly be that second scorer, something like San Antonio did with David robinson. Boozer will only help them win more meaningless games during the season, which doesn’t really help them in the long run.

  11. fnc111 - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    It’s called the greatest player of all time was playing in chi town, luckily. Bitter much dude?

  12. isd87 - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    If Rose makes a full recovery, the Bulls will be kicking themselves for not trying to push for a title run. With a recovery time of 8-12 months its easy to split the difference and say 10 months (March),but this is clearly speculation. Really like KC Johnson, but I don’t think he has much insight into how fast, or in this case slow, Rose’s recovery is going to be. This shouldn’t be treated as news when its opinion. My speculation? The average ACL recovery is 6-9 months, so a January or February return sounds right.

    • aboogy123456 - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Yea but in order for them to make a run with this team, they need to have Rose pretty much dominate on offense, and we saw what happened last year when they pushed him too hard after coming back from injury.

      • lorddarkhelmet - Jul 23, 2012 at 1:42 PM

        that and it is impossible for one player to win a championship. Michael had Scotty and Ho Grant/Rodman. LeBron has Wade and Bosch. The big Fundamental has Ginobili and Parker. Etc, etc. Deng is a nice player, but they someone who can really help carry the load.

    • dadawg77 - Jul 23, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      If Rose is 100% Rose in 10 month then its a miracle. No one has come back 100% right away from an ACL. Plus Deng out at the start year with his wrist.

      • lmoneyfresh - Jul 23, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        Exactly. It’s going to be one thing to get Rose back on the court, but it is a whole other thing to have Rose playing at his pre-injury level. A lot of times with these knee injuries there is a period where the players have to develop the mental ability to trust their knee again, which takes time, regardless of the health of that knee.

      • isd87 - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:26 PM

        I wouldn’t say no one. Look at how Nene, Corey Brewer, Bonzi Wells, Al Harrington, and Jamal Crawford played the season after ACL surgery. Their production was in line with what it had been the previous seasons. That would impossible if they weren’t anywhere near 100%. The whole “it takes two years to recover from a torn ACL” idea is outdated, but still the consensus opinion unfortunately.

  13. shorttracknews - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    This is still a good team and will make the playoffs. They were 18-9 last year when Rose didn’t play.

  14. iowahbr - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    The major problem with the Bulls is a mirror of the problems with the whole NBA right now. Set aside the Heat, and perhaps LA, Oklahoma and maybe Dallas and Indiana and the rest of the league is playing about salary caps and draft positions which makes for so many boring regular season games and garbage statistics. (unless you have a relative on the court making 5 million a year to sit on the bench.) This is a much tougher problem for Stern than flopping.

  15. misterdreamer119 - Jul 23, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    It takes 2 full years to get fully healthy. Bulls fans its over.

  16. lorddarkhelmet - Jul 23, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Clearing money under the cap does not mean they plan to dip into the FA market. The best part of cap room and expiring contracts is trade value. The trade market and draft picks are where it is at for a retooling/rebuilding team. Smart moves in my opinion as this team is going nowhere as currently constructed (even with Rose), better to add flexibility to obtain the missing piece/pieces.

  17. pooskay - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    with a weak EC, you can’t tell me this is not a starting 5 worthy of a playoff spot (if injuries are not a big factor)….

    PG – Hinrich
    SG – Hamilton
    SF – Deng
    PF – Boozer
    C – Noah

    as much as I would like it, I don’t see CHI picking up a lottery pick next year.

  18. philtration - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Here is what is wrong with this plan…. who is going to be a free agent in 2014?

    Other than LeBron and Wade (and they are not going anywhere) every other decent player on the list is going to be retiring or washed up and clinging to their career by then.
    Saving for a free agent bonanza that does not exist is dumb at best.
    The Bulls were supposed to be building for the future when they blew up a team that had just won their 6th title in 8 years.
    The Bulls were supposed to be building for the future when they drafted Elton brand and Ron Artest.
    The Bulls were supposed to be building for the future when they traded away brand and drafted Eddy Curry, Tyson Chandler and Jamal Crawford.
    The Bulls were supposed to be building for the future when they drafted Ben Gordon, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich.
    The Bulls were supposed to be building for the future when they drafted Derrick Rose and “stashed” Nikola Mirotic away in Europe and Omer Asik in Turkey…

    I have heard it all before.

    • hwatt - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      dammit i knew the name ‘Tyson Chandler’ kept sounding familiar. Well if anything it shows they know how to scout talent, but somebody needs to open the purse strings cuz so many guys love to walk away. We finally got a coach in Thibs and almost blew it with is contract, better keep him until he’s the oldest coach in the league.

  19. fnc111 - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Dear pudgalvin,

    Are you not able to comprehend what I wrote? What don’t you get about no nba star free agent wants to play in the cold MIDWEST!?!?!?….. Last I checked Boston and NYC are not in the Midwest. Sheesh bro. Boston all be it cold in the winter is the second greatest pro franchise of all time and Stern will keep them stable.

    • itsthemelman82 - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:44 PM

      You probably believe in magical unicorns & the Easter bunny. How does your theory even come close to making sense? Chicago is the 3rd largest market in the US. Why would Stern object to the Bulls being great??? Also, as a NYC resident I can tell you that Knicks fans had their eyes set on more than just Amare. Why didn’t Stern make something happen? Before last season they wanted Chrs Paul… He’s not a Knick either. According to your theory they should be competing for championships every year. 3/4 of us posting comments weren’t on this earth yet when the Knicks last won! Come up with something better than that buddy

  20. Mr. Jones - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Reblogged this on Sports w/ KJ.

  21. chicagosworth - Jul 24, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    The Bulls played well without a lot of key players last year and still made playoffs. I wish people would quit counting them out!!!! The Bulls can/will make the playoffs again.

  22. naterich21 - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    If Bynum makes it to free agency(which he most likely won’t), the Bulls would definitely be able to get him. Trade Noah for cap space/decent talent. Maybe keep Deng. Amnesty Boozer. For all we know, this team could end up in a completely different direction.

    Either way, they won’t be a threat in the playoffs for at least a couple of years

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