John Paxson was on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” this morning on ESPN Chicago 1000. Among the issues he addressed, the Chicago Bulls position in trade talks and the progress of Derrick Rose took precedent.
I’ll save the best for last and start you off with what he had to say about the upcoming trade deadline:
”We’re up against what’s called a hard cap… we’re not in a position to take on any real salary so we’re kind of limited in what we can do… You’re always on the lookout to do certain things, but I think our move hopefully will be bringing Derrick back into the fold.”
While waiting for Derrick Rose to recover from ACL surgery isn’t exactly a yearly regimen for Bulls fans, trying to decipher what their relatively quiet front office has to say about any potential movement has become a pastime. It’s clear that Gar Forman and John Paxson have their hands tied, partially by the luxury tax but more rigidly by owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
Chances are that unless some team wants to take on Rip Hamilton for a couple first-rounders or something just as unexciting, the Bulls will stand pat come February 21st, just like they have for the past two seasons.
Should fans be happy about this? Not necessarily, but there isn’t much to complain about either. Sure, Chicago could use some more depth but they did just discover that they’ll be represented by not one, but two all-stars this year. Not to mention, Tom Thibodeau is once again a coach of the year candidate and their former MVP, Derrick Rose is on the mend:
”We can’t sit here today and say he’s going to be back in three weeks or after the All-Star break… his body is going to tell us and then when we get to that point that’s when we’re going to have to sit down and determine, after we talk to our doctors and everything, then determine our gameplan of minutes and how best to bring him back… We want this to be a progression where he comes back, he starts to play and every week he gets better and feels better.”
Just like everyone who has any ties to the Bulls organization, John Paxson is preaching patience, patience and more patience. Perhaps the smartest thing the Chicago front office has done this season is make no concrete predictions regarding Derrick Rose’ return date.
Look, I want Derrick Rose back on the court as badly as everyone else does, but the worst thing that could happen if he comes back too early is another injury while the worst thing that could happen if he waits it out is that the Bulls could take a few losses. Obviously, one is worse than the other.