With the beginning of the season underway, the Chicago Bulls are off to one of their best starts in recent memory. The reason behind it—rookie point guard Derrick Rose.
Rose, the first overall pick in the 2008 draft, has been garnering praises and making highlights since the start of the season.
However, before the season started, most analysts never thought Rose had a chance to win the Rookie of the Year award. Now he appears to be the front-runner for the award. Yes, OJ Mayo is garnering a lot of consideration for top rookie, but after considering how much of an impact Rose is having on his team it’s hard to argue against him.
So it seems the franchise now has it’s franchise player…but whom should they focus on to rebuild around him?
With Rose getting much of the attention, shooting guard Ben Gordon is off to a hot start, yet remains under the radar. His ability to shoot the ball from outside has given Rose a lethal weapon to dish the ball out to. This forces defenses to not over guard Rose and respect the perimeter, which leaves Rose in good scoring situations. So far, Gordon has seemed like a key piece to rebuilding around Rose.
There’s only one problem…He’s a free agent after this year.
Yes they could sign him in the off-season, but they would have to be the highest bidder to do so. With Luol Deng just getting a huge contract before this season, it seems that they would have to make major adjustments to resign him, which would take them out of the running for the big 2010 free agent market.
Now lets shift the focus to Deng, the man who is supposed to be our top franchise component along with Rose. After getting his lucrative contract that some say was a bit much, Deng has yet to show he can earn that type of money.
In years past he has shown flashes of potential and has been a solid piece, but can he live up to his hype? This was the guy who was a deal-breaker in recent trade talks for players such as Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, and yes Kobe Bryant.
I personally like Deng, as he is a very likeable guy, but he needs to step it up and be a key player for our future. It’s still very early and anything can happen, but so far Deng has been a disappointment.
I am looking forward to watching Rose this season and hope certain pieces can fall into place around him. If not, I hope there will be change in the off-season.