CHICAGO — The Bulls continue to spend money in areas they need rather then areas they want. It was going to happen and now we are in the preliminary stages of Derrick Rose signing a max contract extension to keep the regaining MVP in Chicago through 2016.
It’s being announced as a formality deal, but it’s pretty much a done deal. Bulls management is expected to announce a 5 year, $94 million extension for Rose, who at 22 has already been to two All-Star games and has an MVP under his belt. A new rule in the CBA helped boost his new salary and it is even being named after him in some circles.
The ‘Derrick Rose Rule’ means that if a player out performs his rookie contract he is able to make 30 percent of a teams total salary in his new deal. It’s safe to say Rose far out performed his contract given his achievements and what he means to not only the Bulls but the entire city of Chicago (See: Bears get Tebowed).
In true Derrick Rose fashion, he is shaking off the big numbers of his contract and is remaining focused on winning.
“Money is the last thing I think about,” Rose said. “I’m just happy to be around my teammates.…It’s a championship that’s on my mind.”
Rose is rightfully so focused on winning given the ugly way the Bulls exited the Eastern Conference Finals last year. Rose stated that he conditioned harder this offseason then he has in his entire career, even running in a jacuzzi during a vacation this summer.
The concern in Rose’s max contract is the luxury taxes. Rose was set to be a free agent next season but he’s not the only key piece of this Bulls team with an expiring contract after this season. Although Rose is now locked up, money will be tight next season for the Bulls to give contract renewals to Taj Gibson and Omer Asik, two big men the Bulls highly value.
Gibson unofficially has two years left after this one but they’re not set in stone. He has a club option worth around $2.1 million and a 2013 qualifying offer of $3.1 million. Asik is an unrestricted free agent after this season is over.
Numerous trade offers came through last year at the deadline demanding either Asik, Gibson or both. The Bulls stood pat and retained both, refusing to make any deal that involved them. With those two guys in high demand, keeping them may be a very hard thing to do.
But the major piece is in place and will be for the foreseeable future. With Rose locked up, it means all but one of the starting five positions are locked in through the 2013 season. Joakim Noah is locked up through 2016, Carlos Boozer’s contract runs through 2014 and Luol Deng is a free agent after the 2013 season.
This team has its leader locked in and now the focus can return to winning a championship and raising another banner in Chicago.