Without Rose, the Bulls have been an average to good team at best, but nowhere near the upper echelon of the league where they ranked before Rose's ACL tear in last year's playoffs.
In the meantime, Chicago can and should start looking at some trade options to surround Rose with quality talent upon his return, assuming a playoff run is still in the cards. The NBA is known for a lot of player movement via trade, and there will be plenty of guys being shopped around in the coming months.
With that being said, let's break it down and take a look at five guys in particular who would be helpful for the Bulls when Rose recovers and returns.
Though he hasn't posted All-Star type numbers throughout his career, Prince has always been a great contributor to the team, showing up in plays that don't always go in the box score.
Prince, even at the older age of 32, is still an above-average defender with good length as well as a pretty solid touch from beyond the arc (shooting 45 percent this season). He would be a great backup for Luol Deng and could give the Bulls the type of depth needed to make a big run in the postseason.
The price tag for Prince wouldn't be too high for Chicago, especially with his large contract (owed $21.6 million over the next three years). Therefore, this is a very feasible move for the team and could pay dividends in the playoffs.
The Michael Beasley Project is a task several teams have taken up, but alas, no team seems to have gotten the results they've wanted.
As a former No. 2 overall pick, the potential is certainly still there for the former Kansas State standout, and this is exactly what the Phoenix Suns were thinking this summer when they inked Beasley to a three-year, $18 million deal.
So far this year, however, Beasley has been inconsistent, inefficient and there's reason to believe that the Suns are feeling some serious buyer's remorse.
Why would the Bulls want this expensive and immature player on their team, you ask? In short, it's because of just how good Beasley can be when he's focused and motivated.
Now, he would likely be a reserve in Chicago, so that may deter his motivation a little, but a great coach like Tom Thibodeau is the kind of guy who can help Beasley get his head on straight and help guide him to his maximum potential.
This deal may be a longshot, but if the Bulls get the good version of Michael Beasley, they would be adding one of the most versatile players to their second unit.
Joining Michael Beasley on this list is another former second overall draft pick and combo forward, Derrick Williams.
Williams has had a rough time living up to his expectations, especially after some "draft experts" (myself included) said he should be taken above Kyrie Irving in the 2011 draft. As of right now, he's coming off the bench behind Kevin Love, and now Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com is reporting that Williams' agent has inquired about the possibility of a trade.
Since Williams is also still on his rookie contract, this is a realistic deal for the Bulls salary cap-wise, but they would have to throw in some decent pieces and/or draft picks to pull the former University of Arizona standout away from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Williams would bring a nice inside-out game to the Bulls and would contribute as much as Beasley would. However, he would also present a much lower risk to mentally check out of games and would be a safer bet to stay focused throughout the season, especially with a change of scenery to a possible contender. Derrick Rose wouldn't mind having this versatile big man around, and Williams could give the bench mob of the Bulls a big scoring boost.
Not many people have heard about DeMarre Carroll, but he has certainly made an impression with opposing teams as a pest on defense and a player with an Energizer Bunny-esque motor.
Carroll is a hustle player by every definition, and his defensive-minded play style is something that would fit in beautifully with the Chicago Bulls' team culture. He doesn't make much of an impact on the offensive end (just 6.4 points per contest), but his PER (19.01) speaks to his efforts on the court.
The best part is that Carroll is also on a cheap, expiring deal, making him expendable for the Utah Jazz if they want to save some money on a possible extension. Chicago should definitely give Carroll a look before the deadline, especially since he can provide depth at both the shooting guard and small forward positions.
The once college sensation J.J. Redick has quietly settled down in Orlando since being drafted, and many have forgotten about the man that was once lighting up the scoreboards at Duke.
What hasn't changed is that Redick is still considered one of the better shooters in the NBA, and he could become the main spot-up threat for the Chicago Bulls if they do deal for him.
Chicago has a hole at shooting guard right now with Rip Hamilton sidelined due to injury, and J.J. Redick has shown this season that he may be ready for a trade. The Orlando Magic are certainly rebuilding right now, and dealing Redick with his expiring $6 million contract could get some value for the team instead of having him leave in free agency.
This is where the Bulls can step in and make a move for Redick, who would provide a nice scoring boost for a team in need of depth at the 2-guard. Also, Redick has some experience playing the point for the Magic, meaning the Bulls can even have him handle the ball with Rose on the court, playing off the ball.
What Redick gives the Bulls is a good scoring ability, depth and a financially responsible deal. It wouldn't take too much for them to pry him away from Orlando, and his contributions with or without Rose in the lineup would be greatly appreciated by Chicago.