Now that we are seeing the Bulls roster take shape we are starting to hear about the players the team almost had. One player who was consistently tied to the Bulls as free agency opened was none other than point guard Derrick Rose. The Bulls were in need of point guard help and Rose was coming off one of his best seasons in quite a while. The pairing almost seemed like fate. From a fan’s perspective, it was too good to be true. Bringing Rose back home and giving him another shot at bringing a title to Chicago. Sadly, that didn’t happen for Chicago. Today the Knicks officially announced the re-signing of Derrick Rose.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) August 18, 2021
It’s reported that Rose signed a 3 year $43 million extension to stay with the Knicks. Rose carried the Knicks in the playoffs this season averaging 19.4 PPG, 5.0 APG, 4.0 RPG, all while shooting 45.8% from the floor. His overall play combined with his playoff performance put him in a position to make money. While the Knicks offered him a big contract the Bulls weren’t far behind. However, we can obviously see it wasn’t enough to bring Rose home.
The Bulls went for it
Today it was in fact confirmed that the Bulls did at least extend an offer to Rose during free agency.
Knicks announce Derrick Rose signing. In a statement, president Leon Rose called Derrick “an extension of coach Thibodeau on court.” Bulls made an offer and Derrick had interest coming home but Knicks blew it away, per source.
— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) August 18, 2021
While we don’t know the specifics of what was offered to Rose we can take some guesses. The likely scenario here was the Bulls went after Rose as the team’s backup point guard. They likely offered him something very similar to what they offered new Bulls guard Alex Caruso. That would be a four-year deal worth roughly $36 million. That averages out to $9 million per year. While that’s a ton of money for all of us outside of the NBA it wasn’t enough. The Knicks offer pays Rose $14.3 million per year.
You can’t blame him for taking that kind of money. You also need to factor in the sour ending Rose had with the Bulls. I know management has changed since then but it’s still something to consider. While it would have been great to see Rose in a Bulls jersey again the Bulls still found a solid plan b.
The Bulls had a backup plan
When things didn’t work out with Rose the Bulls didn’t seem to lose any steam. They went straight for their next guy in Alex Caruso. The team knew the biggest weakness last season was point guard play. So the position that was addressed first was the starting and backup point guards. Caruso is a nice fit at $9 million per year. He can hold his own defensively and still produce on offense when needed. He doesn’t have the nostalgia that Rose would have brought but he does have one advantage over Rose. Caruso is only 27 years old. By the time his contract is up, he will only be 31. Compare that to Rose who is already 32 years old. The Bulls got a younger backup point guard who will bring them something they desperately need, defense.
The Bulls are ready to move forward
Like I said, from the fan’s perspective bringing Rose back would have been a great story. Bringing him back to Chicago on a redemption tour, showing the previous management they made a mistake. It would have been very fun to watch. However, things didn’t end up that way. The team went with plan b and they are happy with that decision. In all reality, the Bull’s only chance here would have been Rose wanting to go back to Chicago. The Knicks were always going to be able to offer more money. It would have taken Rose wanting to only play for Chicago for this to work out. We wish Rose nothing but the best (except when he plays the Bulls). We will always remember the good memories with Rose of which there are many.
Derrick Rose on Christmas Day. pic.twitter.com/bzBil3fzop
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) August 17, 2021
However, this team is ready to move forward and start their push for the playoffs. It sounds like Rose returning to the Bulls will always remain a what if.