Chicago Bulls Fan Fridays: Gauging Derrick Rose’s Future


Every Friday here at Pippen Ain’t Easy, we’ll take the time to answer questions about the Chicago Bulls and the rest of the NBA overall. So, without further adieu, here’s the (delayed) third edition of Fan Fridays here at PAE.

With 18 days before the Chicago Bulls take the floor in their regular season opener in Chicago, their outlook is starting to take shape slowly. The Bulls are playing much faster offensively and getting more faces involved in the action during the early part of the preseason slate.

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The featured question for our Fan Fridays segment involves a player that has yet to take the floor for the Bulls during the preseason.

There’s been a plethora of questions and concerns towards Derrick Rose heading into the season. Some of those concerns have been for off-the-court matters, but the biggest question has been how the former MVP will adjust to a new offensive system, along with backcourt mate Jimmy Butler becoming a bigger star.

So, without further delay, here’s the third edition of Fan Fridays here at Pippen Ain’t Easy.

Question from Twitter user @russellwilliam4: Will Derrick Rose reach All-Star status this season?

This is a question that I’m sure more than just Chicago Bulls fans want answered. Ever since Derrick Rose became the youngest MVP in NBA history, the expectations for he and the Bulls have been higher than they’ve ever been in the post-Jordan/Pippen/Jackson era.

But, ever since the Bulls lost Game 5 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals to the former “Big Three” and the Miami Heat, things have just gone downhill rapidly for Rose. He hardly played in the shorten 66-game season the next year, and then tore his ACL in the postseason against Philadelphia. Since then, it’s been injury after injury, including the latest one; a facial surgery due to a orbital bone fracture from an inadvertent elbow.

Nate Silver, the founder of, created the “CARMELO formula“, which gauges how the future of current NBA players will go, while comparing them to former players who played in the NBA.

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Using Silver’s formula, Derrick Rose’s comparable players weren’t exactly household names. Here’s some of the list: T.J. Ford, Dan Dickau, Sebastian Telfair and Randy Foye. Simply put, Rose’s outlook doesn’t look bright when you use the advanced numbers, specifically Wins Above Replacement (WAR).

When you glance at Rose’s numbers, those don’t offer much encouragement either. Rose’s 3PAr during the 2014-15 season was .325; the highest of his NBA career. In basic terms, that means 32.5 percent of Rose’s shot attempts were from beyond the three-point line. Even with the three knee injuries (including one during this past spring on his meniscus), Rose is still capable of getting to the basket at a good rate. He just has to make the attempt to get there.

Coming back to the question itself: Can Derrick Rose be an NBA All-Star this season? Absolutely. To borrow a nugget from Bleacher Report columnist Sean Highkin, the Bulls averaged 105.3 points per 100 possessions with Rose and Jimmy Butler on the floor together. Set aside the rumored tension between the two. When the backcourt is healthy, they’re as good as any backcourt in the game today.

Sure, Rose will need to adjust to a new offensive system. In Tom Thibodeau’s offense, Rose was the clear-cut catalyst when he was on the floor and could improvise when needed. Butler was more of an offensive liability than a legit option until last year, Pau Gasol didn’t arrive until last season and Joakim Noah‘s offense is rather limited.

In Fred Hoiberg‘s system, three things come to mind: Penetration from ball-handlers, everybody on the floor touching the ball and getting open three-point looks. If Rose is going to shoot the three-point shot, he’s going to have to start making them. Shooting almost 33 percent of your total shots from deep, while making just 28 percent of them in 51 games, is … well, not good.

Along with making more shots from long range (if he attempts them), the obvious still remains. Rose has to stay healthy, plain and simple. He’s already off to a poor start with that (thanks to an elbow that wasn’t his fault).

Next: Should the Bulls give the Gasol/Noah pairing another shot to start?

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