Derrick Rose has freely admitted that returning to full health is more important than rushing back to play for the Chicago Bulls this season, but according to his brother Reggie, there may be other factors at play in his decision whether or not to take the court in 2013.
ESPN Chicago’s Scott Powers reported the following quote from Reggie Rose:
What have you pieced together? Have you made any moves? Have you made any trades to get better? You know all roads to the championship lead through Miami. What pieces have you put together for the physical playoffs?
Joakim Noah is a great player. Luol Deng is a great player. But you need more than that. You have to put together pieces to your main piece. The players can only do so much. It's up to the organization to make them better.
The Bulls are still waiting on Rose to return from a torn ACL he suffered in the first round of the playoffs last season.
The most recent reports on his progress note that the former MVP is scrimmaging with his teammates at practice, per the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson. However, ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell quoted Rose as saying, “I'm feeling good, but like I said, if it's where it's taking me a long time and I'm still not feeling right, I don't mind missing this year.”
The point guard’s importance to the Bulls is undisputed. Without Rose this season, the team is the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.
With Rose running the offense and leading the team, Chicago had the East’s best record in each of the past two years.
The Bulls reached the conference finals in the 2010-11 season, but they lacked the second scoring option necessary to compete with the Miami Heat, who beat them in five games. While Joakim Noah and Luol Deng—the two players Reggie Rose mentioned—are both defensive standouts, neither is an elite offensive threat.
This is likely the source of Rose’s brother’s frustration, but as Powers’ report notes, Chicago had little flexibility under the hard cap to make a major deal.
The Bulls’ current roster is what Rose will have to work with for the remainder of the season, and he will have to continue to weigh advice from doctors, teammates, coaches and family on what to do going forward.