The Derrick Rose era is over in Chicago.
The Bulls sent their native son to the New York Knicks in a trade, sending Rose, Justin Holiday and a second-round pick in next June’s draft for center Robin Lopez, point guard Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant, according to sources close to the situation.
Rose was entering the final year of his contract in Chicago, and the Bulls faced the prospect of Rose playing his best basketball — then leaving in free agency for nothing in return.
The last several seasons for Rose has been marred with injuries, controversies and only flashes of the player who won MVP in the 2010-11 season, as he battled three debilitating knee surgeries starting in the 2012 season.
And as time went on, aided by the emergence of Jimmy Butler, it became obvious there wasn’t enough space in the backcourt for the two stars — though on separate trajectories as Rose tried to reclaim his previous form and was hit with setback after setback.
Rose’s first season under Fred Hoiberg was an up-and-down one, starting with fracturing his orbital bone on the first day of training camp, and it took until midseason for him to fully come to form.
And though he played well after the All-Star break, quietly having his best month in more than three years, the Bulls didn’t see fit taking a chance on what would happen the next season, turning the page on an era that seemingly left everyone involved wondering "what if?"
The Bulls announced the trade Wednesday afternoon with statements from team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Gar Forman.
"Knowing Derrick as I do makes this trade a hard one. Everyone knows him as the local kid who became MVP for his hometown team, but not everyone got to know him like I did. While he is a terrific basketball player, he is an even better person with a tremendous heart," Reinsdorf said. "I wish him the best of health for the remainder of his career, and I want to personally thank him for everything that he did on the court and in the community during his time with the Chicago Bulls."
"We will always be grateful to Derrick. He was a great teammate who put winning first, and nobody fought harder through injuries and disappointment. He wowed us all when he was on the floor and at his best. His MVP season was one for the ages. We wish Derrick nothing but the best moving forward," Forman said.
"As we said at the end of last season, we are committed to exploring every option to improve this team," Forman said. "This trade is a significant step in that process. Our goal is to get younger and more athletic, and this trade moves us in that direction and allows us to start changing the structure of our team. In Robin Lopez, we are acquiring a starting center who is a good defender, good rebounder and brings a toughness to our team. Jose Calderon is a proven veteran who can run an offense and knock down 3s. Jerian Grant was high on our draft board last year as someone with a great skill set and positional size. All three players are great teammates and have tremendous work ethic, and we are excited to welcome them to the Chicago Bulls organization."