“I thought LeBron James was the luckiest guy in the world to get to play in his home city,” says Derrick Rose, likely one of the top two picks in this year’s NBA draft.
Rose seems to have turned from his initial responses to getting drafted by the Chicago Bulls. His first reaction was political and now, even ESPN is hyping up this new-found zeal for the Chi.
When the Bulls landed the top pick, I pushed for someone other than Rose, but I’m not completely adverse to selecting him.
I’m not high on the argument that Rose’s height (he’s listed at 6’3″) and that fact that he’s from Chicago makes him the clear choice for the Bulls. For further evidence, see a certain 6’11″ Thornwood alum. (I realize this is a bit of a strawman but I feel that the Rose-Curry comparison is more substantial than a positive correlation of guys playing in their hometown and success).
But what happens if David Stern says Derrick Rose’s name first?
Hello Guard, Goodbye Guards
Chris Duhon was out before the regular season even ended. That much is certain. But drafting Derrick Rose will negate the value of Kirk Hinrich, Thabo Sefolosha and Ben Gordon. If Larry Hughes sticks around, his value drops even more.
Except for Gordon, the Chicago Bulls guards maintain value due to their ability to handle the ball and to make plays for their teammates. None of them are Chris Paul, obviously. However, it seems like drafting Derrick Rose will essentially concede the offense (and the future of the franchise) to this young point guard.
And although Kirk, Thabo and Hughes have shown an ability to score the basketball. It will take some time for them to adjust to playing off-the-ball. It’s pretty clear that drafting Rose will signal the end of Kirk or Gordon’s career as a Bull.
The Bulls Need A Big Man
The need for a big man continues. To bolster a front line featuring Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah, the Bulls will most likely look to move one of the guards mentioned earlier. The Bulls offense will hinge on Rose who has a dynamic floor game. However, he hasn’t yet shown an ability to explode on the offensive end. Regardless, the Bulls need someone to that can shoot high percentage shots.
Take a look at the offenses around the league that are structured around a dominant point guard. Steve Nash has an Amare Stoudamire. Chris Paul has a David West. Deron Williams has a Carlos Boozer. What do they have in common? A post player that can create offense in half-court sets.
Baron Davis doesn’t have any help but we’re not looking to emulate the Warriors. If I’m not mistaken, the Warriors are in the same exact position as the Bulls. Advanced in the playoffs last year and missed it this year. Yet Chicago was much more disappointed in their team than was the Bay.
Keep Luol Deng
The Bulls will need to do everything they can to keep Luol Deng. He’s an established scorer that can play multiple positions. His field goal percentage is incredible. Plus, he’s a great guy. Derrick Rose running around with Larry Hughes, Viktor Khryapa, Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah will do absolutely no good.
John Paxson needs to keep at least two scorers in the roster to have any semblance of improvement. What was it that Kobe said in the Western Conference Finals? “I’m not taking bread knives to a gun fight no more.” Well, this is exactly what Rose would be doing. Bust out the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Derrick. We’re having a tea party!
By drafting Derrick Rose, the Bulls didn’t address a need. So they’ll have to start fresh. Being the #1 pick will put a lot of pressure on the former Simeon baller. The fans will have to realize that they’re back to square one. Expecting Chris Paul is unrealistic.
In summary, I really think it’s going to be tough if the Chicago Bulls bring another guard into the equation. Especially if it’s a guard expecting to get #1 draft pick playing time and attention. Either way, I’m looking forward to next week.