Chicago Bulls: Rose Wants To Retire A Bull, But Most Likely Won’t

Dec 14, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) brings the ball up court against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 14, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) brings the ball up court against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

There have been countless rumblings in Chicago about what direction the team should head in. Along the way, it will likely mean parting ways with Derrick Rose.

Throughout the first 39 games of this season, the Chicago Bulls are 23-16 and currently in third place of a much tougher Eastern Conference than recent years. Judging off headlines from different media outlets, you would think that the Bulls are on the verge of self-destruction and those contemplations of completely blowing up the roster remain alive and well.

Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, and Pau Gasol have been the common players rumored in trade talks that could likely take place before the trade deadline on Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. ET. Noah’s contract ends after this season while Gibson and Gasol’s end after the 2016-17 season. Even though Gibson and Gasol still have a year remaining on their current contracts, the numbers are more than manageable especially when factoring in the increased salary cap kicking in this summer.

Another player that has surfaced this season as a potential movable piece in the future is Derrick Rose.

For Chicago fans, when Rose was crowned the league’s MVP in 2011, it was almost a validation that the next step would be him leading the Bulls to a championship and bringing the Larry O’Brien trophy back to the Windy City. Instead, Rose’s next couple of seasons were injury-filled a failures of living up to expectation.

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Rose has played just 133 games the past four seasons because of injuries that include a torn ACL, torn meniscus, and a fracture to his left orbital bone that forced him to miss significant time. The Chicago fan base has since grown weary of Rose’s continuous health issues to the point where it seems moving on is the only option.

But Rose has always made it clear that no matter what, he wants to remain a Bull for the remainder of his career. In a recent interview with ESPN’s Nick Friedell, Rose responded to a question of retiring in Chicago with, “For sure, for sure.”

Of course, Rose isn’t loathed in Chicago by any means, fans are just sour because of his injury-prone past couple of seasons and the promise that came along with the early years of his career. When it comes down to it, the fact that Chicago is his hometown makes it difficult for fans to completely let go. However, there are misconceptions that continue to grow louder and louder.

Rose responded to the misconceptions:

"“I really don’t know right now. Every week it changes probably. I’m serious. I don’t know — it’s probably — in the beginning of the year it was, Did I want to stay here and did I want to win? But my whole life, I mean from the beginning, I said I wanted to stay here and play here and my whole life I’ve been a winner, so that’s not going to change.”"

Rose still has a another year on his existing contract. He will make $20 million this season and $21.3  million next season, which keeps the majority of teams away from any trade talks. Even with the salary cap rising, the $21.3 million is still a hefty number for a player that is as injury-prone as Rose has been.

Chicago has two choices: keep Rose and his heavy contract on the payroll next season, or somehow package a deal that includes more talent and/or draft picks to make the trade look a little more attractive. But unless Rose is willing to take a huge pay cut once his contract expires, he will most likely be elsewhere for the remainder of his playing days.

The rise of Jimmy Butler has made the conversations of getting rid of Rose a little easier. Butler signed a max contract this past summer and has lived up to every penny.

Butler’s 2015-2016 Statistics: 22.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.8 SPG

It is most logical to say that Butler will be the future of the Chicago franchise. With every team, there were inklings that Rose and Butler were butting heads about whose team the Bulls belonged to. Rose was asked if he gives any leadership advice to Butler and what the status of that relationship was:

"“I wouldn’t say about leading. It’s about just growing up, you know? He’s a young guy. I remember Jimmy played [junior college] with my assistant, my best friend [Randall Hampton], so I remember when he was coming to the team and my friend was telling me he was coming to the team and just to his growth, you know what I mean? From there to where he is right now — he’s a player that I’ve been looking for. So I know in the heat of the battle he’s going to be there, he’s going to be giving his all, and this is something that I’ve been dying for so I’m happy to have him.”"

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For the people who think that the fire in Rose has gone out, you’re sorely mistaken. Injuries have been a problem, but his mindset seems to remain the sam as it did when he first game into the league, and he wants to get back to the MVP level of 2011 not only for himself, but for his son P.J.:

"“I mean, that’s the goal. That’s the goal. I’m not doing this s— just to get by or doing it just to be doing it. I’m doing this because of my son. He’s everything to me. He’s the reason why I get up and I work out the way I work out and train the way that I train. He changed everything about me, so he was a blessing.”"