Report: Derrick Rose Only Untouchable in Trade Talks on Chicago Bulls Roster

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2014

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) sits on the bench in the first half of Game 3 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Washington Wizards, Friday, April 25, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Derrick Rose really needs to team up with MC Hammer and mass-produce shirts, pants, shorts, sneakers and fedoras that read: Can't touch this.

Although the Chicago Bulls are expected to make significant tweaks to their roster this summer, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times brings word that any offseason splashes won't be coming at the expense of Rose.

"According to several NBA sources Sunday," he writes, "the Bulls have been actively looking to improve the starting lineup at almost any cost, with Derrick Rose the only untouchable player — and not by choice."

This isn't anything we couldn't figure out for ourselves. 

Even if the Bulls wanted to trade their franchise superstar, they can't. No NBA team is going to absorb the final three years and $60-plus million remaining on his contract. Not after he appeared in just 50 games—playoffs and regular season—over the last three seasons.

That the Bulls are making everyone else available—or rather, not untouchable—is truly interesting. 

And likely not entirely true.

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 15:  (L-R) Mike Dunleavy #34, Kirk Hinrich #12, Joakim Noah #13, Taj Gibson #22 and Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls wait to reenter a game against the Sacramento Kings after a time out at the United Center on March 15, 2014 in Ch
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Superstar acquisitions are costly, but are they honestly willing to trade reigning Defensive Player of the Year and residential rabble-rouser Joakim Noah? Doubtful. Imagining them dealing Jimmy Butler is even difficult. He's one of the best perimeter defenders in the game and stands for everything the Bulls do—hard work, grit, perseverance, etc. 

Still, nothing can be counted out when perennial All-Stars are at stake.

Cowley says landing Carmelo Anthony remains "Plan A," which is no surprise given the mutual interest shared between both parties. Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski previously revealed that Melo was looking to leave the New York Knicks and had his sights set on the Bulls and Houston Rockets, both of whom are preparing to make aggressive runs at his services.

Kevin Love is another disgruntled superstar being linked to Chicago. ESPN Boston's Jackie MacMullan says the Bulls have already thrown a trade proposal the Minnesota Timberwolves' way.

It's all about price at this point. Whether they sign Anthony or trade for Love, the Bulls have to sacrifice some assets.

Creating cap space for Anthony, as Wojnarowski noted, could entail them trading Taj Gibson, among other players and/or draft picks, even after amnestying Carlos Boozer. Trading for Love will demand much of the same, perhaps more, ultimately forcing the Bulls to part ways with Butler or Nikola Mirotic if they're serious about bringing the bearded forward to Chicago.

Like CBS Sports' James Herbert pointed out, this puts the Bulls in iffy territory—especially when it comes to Gibson:

Chicago should be careful when it comes to Gibson, as he has developed into an excellent two-way player and is being paid a reasonable $25.45 million over the next three seasons. He is a big part of the Bulls' identity, though it seems the organization might be willing to alter its identity if it can add to its talent level this summer.

Proceeding with caution is important no matter the player. The Bulls can't part ways with valuable assets if it doesn't culminate in another star's arrival. They have to be assured of a valuable return, whether that be Melo prematurely agreeing to sign or Love promising to remain in Chicago.

"We have a big summer in front of us," Bulls general manager Gar Forman said in May, per ESPN Chicago's Scoop Jackson.

Expensive, too. 

At least they know Rose won't be part of the inevitable collateral damage.


*Salary information via ShamSports.