NBA Rumors: Former MVP Linked To Bulls In Free Agency

The Chicago Bulls have some big decisions to make this summer: give it another go with this core, or blow it up and start again. The real fly in the ointment is the ongoing Lonzo Ball problem. He'll miss his second straight full season in 2023-24 struggling to recover from a puzzling, chronic knee injury. 

According to one report, the Bulls might be looking to their past for a short-term solution at the point. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype explains:

I think the Chicago Bulls make a ton of sense for Derrick Rose in free agency. It would be a nice homecoming for him towards the end of his career. We saw when he was back in town how beloved he is still by that fan base. They’ll be missing Lonzo Ball, and if they’re trying to compete and win, he’s an excellent bridge as a veteran mentor to some of the young guys on that roster, and I think he still has some gas left in the tank.

The New York Knicks have a team option on Rose for the coming season at $16.5M. It's pretty clear that they will not be picking that up, as the veteran only got off the bench for a measly two games in the last four months of the season this year. 

But as recently as the 2021-22 season, Rose played a solid reserve role for the Knicks, averaging 12 points with 4.0 assists in 24 minutes per game (in the 26 games that he was healthy). 

Rose is one of the most beloved Bulls in recent memory, as a three-time All-Star in the Windy City at the beginning of the last decade, and was the youngest MVP in league history in 2010-11, winning the award at the age of 22. But a severe ACL injury in 2012 seriously eroded his explosiveness, and completely derailed his career from the superstar trajectory he had been on. 

But going into his age-35 season, he's still at it, in a limited role, and would make a tremendous homecoming story if the Bulls were to bring him back. Buyer Beware, of course, as Rose hasn't played more than 51 games in a season since 2016-17. 

Photo: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports