Reggie Rose, Derrick’s brother, gave an interview to ESPN Chicago talking about how frustrating it is for him to watch the Chicago Bulls’ front office come up short in their ‘efforts’ to put a quality team around Derrick. The piece notes that Reggie is speaking for himself, rather than Derrick, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Derrick shared at least some of Reggie’s views.
Reggie’s basic point appears to be that the Bulls can’t beat the Miami Heat as currently constructed and should have been doing more to fix that.
“What have you pieced together? Have you made any moves? Have you made any trades to get better? You know all roads to the championship lead through Miami,” Reggie Rose told ESPNChicago.com. “What pieces have you put together for the physical playoffs?
“Joakim Noah is a great player. Luol Deng is a great player. But you need more than that. You have to put together pieces to your main piece. The players can only do so much. It’s up to the organization to make them better.”
The Bulls stood pat at Thursday’s trade deadline.
“It’s frustrating to see my brother play his heart and soul out for the team and them not put anything around him,” Reggie Rose said.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve said similar things about the Bulls over the past year or so. They’ve had plenty of chances to acquire players that could help the Bulls in their quest for a championship — J.J. Redick comes to mind — but have passed, for any number of reasons. These days, their concern seems to be “flexibility” going forward.
This brings us to the second half of the headline, wherein John Paxson is the worst.
Pulling off a trade would have been complicated for the Bulls, who are hard capped at $74 million in payroll this season.
“In order for us to do something we’re not in a position to take on any real salary, so we’re kind of limited in what we can do,” Bulls vice president John Paxson said last month on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN Chicago 1000. “I think our team has grown. It’s not always pretty. Let’s face it, we’ve had some ugly games this year, and that’s kind of who we are right now. But we do grind it out and play hard.
“You’re always on the lookout to do certain things, but I think our move hopefully will be bringing Derrick back into the fold.”
Apparently, Paxson said this a month ago, which I vaguely remember, but that’s not the point. The point is that Mr. Paxson, one half of the GarPax duo (along with Gar Foreman) that has been running the Bulls’ basketball operations for the last several years, would apparently like us to believe that the Bulls would be all over the trade market if it weren’t for that pesky hard cap that keeps them from adding salary.
Fact: Even with the hard cap in place, the Bulls can still make trades. It’s not even that difficult.
Fact: The Bulls have been trying to dump salary in trades since July.
Fact: GarPax voluntarily put the hard cap in place by signing Kirk Hinrich using the non-taxpayer mid-level exception.
Hypothesis: The Bulls did nothing at the trade deadline because their owner has no interest in paying for their team, not because of the hard cap.
It’s as if Paxson expects us to have completely forgotten that the Bulls could have avoided the hard cap entirely. Based solely on his comments, you would think the hard cap just appeared one day without giving GarPax a chance to avoid it. This is not only false, it is hilariously false. Nobody forced the Bulls to give Hinrich almost $4 million this season and more than $4 million next season. Furthermore, nobody forced the Bulls to then sign Hinrich using the MLE instead of doing a sign and trade when they sent Kyle Korver to the Atlanta Hawks.
But apparently, the Bulls were robbed of a chance to make the move that would put them “over the top” because fate intervened in the form of a hard cap.
Anyway, Reggie Rose insists that Derrick may be less likely to return because of the Bulls inaction, which KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune thinks is disingenuous at best and outright false at worst.
Regarding Reggie Rose’s comments to @espnchipowers: If DRose is mentally, physically ready and still sits, that’s not DRose I’ve covered.
— K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 21, 2013
DRose should be conservative, only play when he’s ready. FWIW, Reggie Rose told Tribune last May there’s “no way” DRose sits whole season.
— K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 21, 2013
A reasonable expectation would be for Derrick to return sometime in March, which fits with the timeline we’ve been given all along. Until we hear definitively otherwise, there’s no reason to question that.
As to John Paxson? You’re the worst, John. The worst.