The Chicago Bulls have a clear agenda going into the 2021 offseason. That is to find an upgrade at point guard. The position has continued to be a significant weakness in their starting lineup. One that both Coby White and Tomas Satoransky have been unable to fill. There is a widespread belief around the league that Arturas Karnisovas will be aggressive in his pursuit of an upgrade.
Most eyes are on Lonzo Ball. This isn’t a huge surprise. With Zach Lavine and Nikola Vucevic providing the primary offensive firepower, the Bulls need somebody who can distribute the basketball and play some good defense. These are things the 23-year old Ball can do well. He also had a career-high 14.6 points per game last season.
According to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bulls came close to trading for him. It didn’t go through but they’ll have another shot when he becomes a restricted free agent. However, what happens if that pursuit doesn’t come to fruition. Wojnarowski believes there is a significant possibility Chicago may look to a familiar face for help.
One of the saddest days in Bulls history was June 22nd, 2016. That was the day GM Gar Forman traded the former MVP to the New York Knicks. Thus ending the best post-Michael Jordan era in Chicago despite Rose still only being 28-years old at the time. For the next several seasons, he bounced around the league from New York to Cleveland to Minnesota, to Detroit. In 2020, the Knicks brought him back.
He ended up being a major catalyst for their first playoff run since 2013. Not only that, but he played well in the quarterfinals matchup against Atlanta. He averaged 22.8 points through the first four games of the series including a vintage 30-point explosion in Game 3.
Chicago Bulls could right some wrongs by signing Rose
To this day, many believe the team made a mistake trading him away. While he was never quite the star he was before the string of knee injuries he suffered starting in 2012, he’s proven he can still be a quality basketball player. The Bulls would be giving him a chance to finish out his career at home while boosting their point guard position in the process.
The issue with this kind of move is length. Rose turns 33-years old in October. It’s a safe assumption he doesn’t have long left before his true decline begins. He’ll represent at best a temporary solution for the Chicago Bulls. They will probably have to revisit the position in the not too distant future. Especially with no 1st round picks this year or in 2023. While bringing him back would be a great story and immediate help, it won’t last long.
That is why they must handle their resources carefully.
Overpaying to get Rose because they missed out on somebody like Ball is not how they’re going to get this train back on the tracks. Still, if Karnisovas does end up going this direction? A lot of people are going to be happy. Most likely Rose included.