He’s coming home?
“We’ll see what the Bulls have. There’s no secret, there’s no doubt that in his heart, Chicago will always be there. We’ll see. I don’t know what the Bulls are going to do at this particular time,” he said. “If it presented itself, we’d be open to that conversation. We’ll find out in due time.”
Rose will be an unrestricted free agent come July 1, almost exactly three years since he was traded to the Knicks in 2016.
In his lone season with the Knicks, Rose tore his meniscus and was once again out for the season. He then signed a minimum deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the offseason but was traded mid-season in a three-team deal that sent him to the Utah Jazz. The Jazz waived him a few days later.
Rose sat out for a month before signing a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and then-president Tom Thibodeau, in March. In the month since, Rose has revitalized his career, putting up some of the best numbers since his MVP season in Chicago.
He was a good fit for the Timberwolves off the bench this season, but he may not be the best fit for the Bulls.
Rose won’t come cheap and there certainly won’t be a hometown discount awarded to the Bulls, considering the matter in which they traded him in the first place. Even with all the injuries – including the elbow fracture that ended his season two weeks ago – Rose has proven himself enough this season to earn more than the veteran’s minimum.
He’s worth that contract for a team that only needs one more good bench piece to push them to the next level. The Bulls aren’t quite ready for that. They may be poised to make the playoffs next year, but they’re several big pieces away from making it out of the first round.
Both Rose and the Bulls will also have to consider the bad turn that the last few hometown signings have taken lately. Dwyane Wade’s homecoming only lasted a season and cost the Bulls upwards of $20 million. Jabari Parker’s tenure with the Bulls took a similar turn, lasting half a season and costing them Otto Porter’s massive 4-year, $106 million contract in trade returns.
The Bulls would certainly welcome the invaluable experience Rose would bring to the locker room and as a potential mentor to the young guards on the team if he can transform into that role. But it’s not in Rose’s best interest to sign with his hometown team again when he can be an actual difference maker on the bench of another team.
His career has been threatened countless times before and even Rose himself has thought that his time playing basketball was over, so it seems counterproductive for Rose to designate himself as a locker room mentor when he’s still capable of making a difference on the court.
Hometown return stories are heartwarming but, in Rose’s case, he’s best suited to stay with another team.
Follow Katy on Twitter @katyduffy_ for more Bulls news and opinion.