OK, it's more like an indestructible brick wall.
According to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, the key piece of that project—Rose himself—wants no part of the reclamation process:
Rose has told several confidantes that he is worried that the Bulls will start to let the team hit the skids by allowing key players to leave via free agency, forcing him to go through a rebuilding program that he wants no part of.
“Derrick is worried that the Bulls are going to lose what they have,” said a league source. “He doesn’t want to go through rebuilding.”
It seems like the former MVP would carry one of the biggest sticks inside the organization.
But will it be big enough for Chicago to pony up the cash needed to keep impending free agent Luol Deng in the Windy City this summer? Or to hold onto Carlos Boozer and the $16.8 million, via Shamsports.com, headed his way next season?
The temptation to retool is going to be strong. No matter how highly Chicago thinks of its current core, there are only so many prayers that can be said for a clean bill of health.
Still, overhauling the roster would be a massive leap of faith.
The Bulls are built to win now. Rose and swingman Jimmy Butler are the only two members in coach Tom Thibodeau's top eight under the age of 28. There are no guarantees that European import, and former first-round draft pick, Nikola Mirotic will be an instant NBA hit assuming he even comes stateside next summer.
If Chicago wants to get younger, it will have to look outside the franchise to find that help. The Bulls could hold two first-round picks in 2014, but that talent will need time to develop.
Chicago could scrap this season and hope to turn its own draft selection into something sweet, but is that really the kind of environment in which the Bulls want the few young pieces they do have to develop? Not to mention that the pieces are hardly in place for a tank-fest to begin.
"Give up?" Bulls.com's Sam Smith wrote. "We all know Thibodeau never would and neither would players whose careers depend on how well they do."
This franchise responds to adversity, it doesn't run from it. That's what makes a fully loaded Bulls team the title threat that it is.
Blowing it up now only puts a longer road to the podium in front of them, a road that could take a massive chunk out of the 25-year-old Rose's prime.
After seeing the three-time All-Star suffer devastating knee injuries in each of the last two seasons, one can only wonder just how long that prime will last.
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