Patience, Bulls fans. Patience.
The news that Derrick Rose is doing non-contact drills in practice is certainly exciting, but don't expect the youngest MVP in league history to return to the lineup just yet. That's because coach Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls are doing the smart thing by taking Rose's rehab slow.
From Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago:
"He's right where he's always been," Thibodeau said after Sunday's practice. "Each week he'll do a little bit more, he's doing more basketball stuff but still he's not anywhere close to playing. He's got a long way to go for that. He's doing all the non-contact stuff in practice, none of the contact stuff, but he's doing well overall."
This patient approach by the Bulls is an excellent idea, because Rose's return isn't about this season at all—it's about the rest of this decade.
Rose is still just 24 years old, which means his prime is still ahead of him. He's going to be a more intelligent, more well-rounded player in a few years, and the Bulls can't sacrifice those seasons by rushing him back now. The last thing they need is a Brandon Roy type situation to develop with Rose.
And besides, it's not like rushing Rose back would have any positive effects. The Bulls are still in the thick of the playoff race, and although they're not title contenders right now, a not quite 100-percent Rose wouldn't change that.
So while Ricky Rubio's return and Iman Shumpert's speedy recovery may have Bulls fans antsy about Rose, just know that this take-it-slow approach is the best possible strategy.