Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose’s knees are bad for recruiting

Derrick Rose’s knees are bad for recruiting. That’s the Chicago Bulls’ biggest problem at this point. Case in point: Carlos Boozer is the most significant free agent to sign with the Bulls in the last five years, and he doesn’t even play in the fourth quarter…frightening.

The Bulls offer so much as a team. From owner Jerry Reinsdorf, to executives John Paxson and Gar Forman, to the solid leadership of Tom Thibodeau, there is no weak link in the organization. The team has a history as rich as any franchise in the NBA. Since dominating the league in the 1990s with six NBA championships, the Bulls have maintained a winning reputation. This year marked the sixth consecutive year that the Bulls have made the playoffs. And the city of Chicago itself should be a huge draw to players everywhere. It is the third largest city in the United States and it offers pretty much anything a person could ask for. But still, players are not joining the Bulls.

Tom Thibodeau, opera singer.

Tom Thibodeau

Maybe it’s Chicago’s cold winters. I know I am constantly rethinking my decision to live in the midwest, especially since the polar vortex of 2014. Is the weather why players aren’t joining the Bulls?

Maybe it’s coach Tom Thibodeau? Even though Thibodeau is a great coach, he does demand a lot from his players. Thibodeau expects every member of the Bulls to pull their weight on the team and that often translates into players playing huge amounts of minutes during the regular season.

In the last few years, many members of the Bulls has seen above average game minutes at their respective positions. Thibodeau’s coaching style has brought undeniable regular season success, but ultimately, Bulls players have been visibly tired and riddled with injuries by the time they get to the playoffs where wins and loses matter the most. Do players not want to play as hard as Thibodeau expects, only to have nothing left when the playoffs begin?

Is recruiting in Chicago just a vicious cycle at this point? Because the Bulls lost out on LeBron in 2010, has everyone followed his example and passed on Chicago? It sure does seem like it. In addition to LeBron, players like Ray Allen, Dwight Howard, James Harden, Joe Johnson, Wilson Chandler, and David West (just to name a few) have all had the opportunity to join a winning Bulls team and have instead signed elsewhere.

Admittedly, the Bulls have had trouble with their salary cap, but it seems like they could have done a little better in the past few off-seasons. Last summer, their biggest signings were Mike Dunleavy and Tony Snell. Sure, the Bulls were counting on the health of Derrick Rose this season, but they need to provide him with a little more help than just the additions of Dunleavy and Snell.

You know who was a big help and did want to be on the Bulls? Luol Deng. But they traded him away. I don’t get it.

Derrick-Rose-C.J.-WatsonThe goal for the Bulls is still to build a championship team around Derrick Rose. And it’s a great idea! Except that Rose has barely played in the last two seasons. And players aren’t signing with the Bulls if they are going to end up being in a starting lineup that features Carlos Boozer and Kirk Hinrich.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Hinrich. But he’s not the three time All-Star and former league MVP that Rose is. I do want to thank D.J. Augustin for signing with the Bulls though. He was a rare excellent signing for the team in the last few seasons and he’s been a huge help.

In order for players to want to come to Chicago to join an All-Star lineup and win a championship, Rose has some proving to do. Even the few free agents that are available this summer are going to be hesitant to sign with the Bulls considering they have no idea what kind of player Rose will be next year. I have no doubt that if Rose returns to form next season and the Bulls at least make a run to the eastern conference finals, more free agents will sign with the Bulls in the summer of 2015. But in the meantime, it seems undeniable that more than anything, Derrick Rose’s knees have been very bad for recruiting.

  • C-Money

    after the bulls signed Carlos Boozer they went to the ECF and the only perceived need was a better 2 gaurd than Keith Bogans to get over the hump so we signed Rip Hamilton and kept the bench mob in tact which was a great move on paper only the guy could never stay healthy with us like so many other players during the lockout season including D Rose who went down in the playoffs, 76ers send us packing. Next season is a throwaway year only this is the Chicago freaking Bulls we’re talkin’ about and they get to the second round of the playoffs getting the boot from Miami once again. Which brings us to this past season where getting Derrick Rose back was going to put this team back in contention for a title only he goes down after 10 games with another season ending injury…the belief was that healthy derrick would make this team a contender like in ’10-’11 there was no need for a big signing but just good pieces to surround d rose.. now we trade Luol, amnesty Boozer, we’re sittin’ pretty to make a splash in free agency where now we know we have to make a big move…bench guys like CJ, Nate Rob, Marco, Omer, Korver, etc. and more recently DJ Augustin raised their stock playing for this team, which I think proves that journeymen bench players can come here and make a name for themselves much like the Spurs seem to be able to do for players.. we may not get the big fish Carmelo or Love but we can still put a good team to compete if D Rose can finally stay healthy

  • bsmooth

    Players dont want to sign with chicago because of the bulls history of how they treated their legends. Do you all remember when MJ said to the bulls if they didnt bring back phill jackson he would not come back either and they let phill jackson go and michael, scottie and the rest of the bulls left to play for another team. The bulls dont want to when a championship all jerry riensdorf care about is the filling up the seats and filling up his pockets. Im a Bulls fan myself and i know the bulls head office are very rude ans stubborn as much as i would like a big name star like melo or lebron james and more dont get ur hopes up.

    • Cameron Smith

      When did michael Leave the team what are you talking about? He retired but it had nothing to do with Phil jackson

  • backell

    “Derrick Rose’s knees are bad for recruiting. That’s the Chicago Bulls’ biggest problem at this point. Case in point: Carlos Boozer is the most significant free agent to sign with the Bulls in the last five years, and he doesn’t even play in the fourth quarter…frightening.”

    So what you’re saying is that Derrick Rose’s knee injuries sent a backwards ripple through time and affected the Bulls signing Carlos Boozer and made him not play in the fourth quarter?

    If you say “case in point” what follows should actually have some relevance to your previous statement.

    • Anthony M. Catania

      It was worded a little confusing. My point was that since Boozer, no one significant has signed with the Bulls, and I think that is mostly because Rose’s injuries.

      • backell

        Since Boozer has signed they have been over the cap. Let’s look at the players you mentioned.

        Ray Allen–was past his prime and hardly a star.
        Dwight Howard–The Bulls didn’t show any interest in getting him. You can hardly say it was because of Rose’s injuries he didn’t come.
        James Harden–was never an unrestricted free agent, and therefore never a possibility.
        Joe Johnson–singed a max deal with Atlanta before Boozer signed with Chicago. Hasn’t been a FA since and isn’t worth the money he’s making.
        Wiilson Chandler–not even close to an elite player, the Bulls never pursued him, and he signed for more what the Bulls could offer him.
        David West–could never have signed with the Bulls, they didn’t need a third PF and he inked with Indiana before Rose got hurt.

        This is the problem with these sorts of arguments. Throw out an array of name and allude to a conclusion. The Bulls have not had the inkling or ability to land a star since Boozer signed. Certainly they haven’t since Rose signed.

        They did add Dunleavy last year, who took about half of what he could have gotten to play with Rose. So that proves the opposite of your premise.

        The problem I see with your argument is your trying to solve a mythical problem. There’s no “reason” these players keep spurning the Bulls. There was never a realistic way for the Bulls to obtain them and they never tried.

        • Anthony M. Catania

          You are exactly right, I was definitely trying to solve an unsolvable problem. My idea for the article was to explore different possibilities for Chicago not getting free agents. And I agree about the Bulls not even trying, their lack of effort is definitely a contributing factor. I didn’t intend for the article to sound like every one of these player issues was a direct result of Rose’s injury. And if I came off sounding like a Rose hater, I couldn’t be farther from that. Rose and Noah are by far my favorite players in the NBA.

      • WhatIsThisGarbage?

        Derrick Rose didn’t recruit anyone or he recruited very minimally from what we know. Boozer didn’t need to be recruited. He was the next best option after the whole Big Three to Miami thing. And all of this was before Derrick’s knee injury anyway. You have no clue what you’re talking about!

  • L.Rohinson

    Look M.Jordan, and the late great Walter Payton had an arsenal of good players surrounded around them.Derrick Rose unfortunately doesn’t have the same caliber of player playing with him…. Period! And my honest opinion is, Kirk Hinrick Is weak and easily intimidated by other NBA players. If there had been a little more time and patience D.J.Augustin would’ve been a better “fit” in D.Rose absent’s. So in closing…. Derrick Rose, I feel will be back and as, strong as before.

    • C-Money

      what are you talking about? Kirk doesn’t back down from anybody and he’s not afraid to get in somebody’s face ex: rajon rondo ’09 playoffs

  • Bobby B.

    Appreciate the effort, but this is just mistake riddled article. Every potential signee you listed was a free agent prior to Rose’s knee injuries or wouldn’t have fit under the Bulls cap structure. You also complain about the Deng trade, but then go on to pine for the major free agents available this summer, without mentioning or realizing they wouldn’t be an option to the Bulls without the Deng trade. Now of course, I do agree, that Rose’s injuries will give any free agent trepidation about signing with the Bulls, but this is really the first and hopefully only offseason where major free agents will have to weigh that risk. Free agents have scorned the Bulls organization dating back to early post-Jordan years and I wouldn’t be surprised if that still plays a large factor, probably even larger than Rose’s current health.

  • Brian Bush

    Derrick rose knees have nothing to do with free agents not coming here. As a matter of fact a lot of those free agents mentioned passed up on coming to chicago prior to rose knee injuries. Free agents reluctantcy to come to chicago is a combination if a few things. Although the writer gave management a honorable mention I think the one important fact that constantly gets glossed over is the mis management of the cap which coincides with the proven reputation of being notoriously cheap. I think another aspect that effects free agents decision is the combination of Jordan’s legacy along with the immense popularity of hometown kid D Rose can be a bit intimidating for some players. These new age players seem to be less daring, afraid to embrace challenge. Instead they take the easy road for instant results. Lebron James is at the very forefront of the evolution of the microwave generation.

    • Anthony M. Catania

      Brian, you make some legit points and I agree with you. Maybe part of me just doesn’t want to accept how cheap the Bulls are.

      • BullsFan

        None of us want to accept how cheap the Bulls are. You didn’t write about that at all.

    • aj

      lol. I knew someone would bring up Lebron.
      but I do partially agree. However, Lebron took a lottery team all the way to the NBA finals by himself, and conference finals the year after. something I don’t think even Jordan or Kobe can accomplish given the same situation. (not saying lebron is better than those two). Lebron played all those years for the cavs where the 2nd best player on his team was mo williams. the team Lebron had was complete Sh!t. The Cavs went back to a lottery team immediately after Lebron left and stayed that way ever since despite multiple #1 picks in the draft, that alone should prove the impact Lebron has on a team. (btw. Kyrie Irving = Hugely Overrated). Lebron saw a better opportunity and he took it, I don’t see anything wrong with that except the way he did it, like announcing it on tv and instead of telling the management.

    • blacbelladonna

      That was WELL put! Mr. Brian Bush

  • BullsFan

    You actually think the Deng trade was a bad idea? Obviously we all loved him, but you have to realize none of these big names you’re complaining about could’ve signed with a contract like Deng’s on the payroll, and none of the big names the Bulls can possibly get this summer would be possible if we resigned Deng. The other option would be letting him walk for nothing in return. That Bulls core was not going to win a championship with the Heat standing in the way, so getting rid of Deng makes it possible for the Bulls to make moves to find different combinations of good players. And considering his contract situation, he was the one that had to go. Basically, if we somehow land Melo or Love, it will be because we traded Deng for Bynum’s enormous contract. And if you think Melo and Love wouldn’t be happy in Chicago, then I would have to strongly disagree. The Bulls are a piece or two away from continuous ECF appearances (considering how terrible the Eastern Conference is as a whole).

  • Drose

    How did derricks knees have anything to do with Ray Allen, Dwight Howard, James Harden, Joe Johnson, Wilson Chandler, and David West???? Howard couldn’t even sign here we didn’t have cap. Joe Johnson got over paid by 6 to 8 million. We already had deng and boozer so why would to legit starters in chandler and west come here.

    • Anthony M. Catania

      I do agree, not all those players not signing were directly related to Rose’s knee. I was just kind of making an overall point that not many free agents are eager to sign in Chicago.

  • sergio

    Derrick rose has a chance to return to his old self

    • Anthony M. Catania

      amen brother

    • BullsFan

      And free agents know that. Look at Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade. Both overcame serious knee injuries and continued to be superstars. The blame is not on Derrick’s knees. Hopefully those knees can get back to solid form, though.

    • debi

      That’s nuts.