2014 NBA Free Agents Who Would Be Perfect Pairing with Derrick Rose

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2014 NBA Free Agents Who Would Be Perfect Pairing with Derrick Rose
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Chicago Bulls fans have been counting down the days to see a healthy Derrick Rose back on the hardwood with his teammates.

But they may not want to rush the moment. This collection of talent might not stick together much longer.

According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the agent for two-time All-Star Luol Deng said his client will "certainly visit free agency" when his contract expires after the 2013-14 season.

Deng has been a Windy City fixture for nearly a decade and arguably Rose's most productive teammate. A two-way contributor who's embraced a massive workload (39.1 minutes per game over the last three seasons), he's not the type of player teams would typically risk losing.

But his name has been a fixture on the trade rumor mill for several seasons, as recently as June's draft via ESPN's Marc Stein, and a number of potential free agents could offer Chicago an upgrade in talent.

Some of these players will become outright free agents at season's end, but others will have to exercise an early termination option in their current contract. Still another group will be headed for restricted free agency, meaning even mutual interest between those players and the Bulls might not be enough to get the job done.

The Bulls know the pitfalls of aiming high in free agency. They missed out on Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill in the summer of 2000, then came up empty in their pursuits of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh a decade later.

Without the proper expectation level in place, that same disappointment could plague Bulls fans next summer. Staying ahead of that curve here, I'll just say don't look for any LeBron James, Paul George, Dirk Nowitzki or Kobe Bryant sightings in Chicago next summer.

But there's still superstar talent beyond that fantastic four, all of whom would blend seamlessly alongside Rose.

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