Nov 24, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT
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.
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.
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