Bulls announce Derrick Rose can resume activities in two weeks, opening night likely


Bulls announce Derrick Rose can resume activities in two weeks, opening night likely

Derrick Rose will be able to resume basketball activities in two weeks after undergoing a surgical procedure on his face, as a result of the elbow felt all around Chicago.

Which means after all the consternation stemming from it, he’ll presumably be on track for a return on opening night, which falls on Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“All we know right now is Derrick went into the procedure this morning early, and the surgery went as expected,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s in recovery now, but yeah, the surgery did go as expected.”

It’s likely he’ll be wearing a mask of some sort or even shades when he does return. In Hoiberg’s rookie year in Indiana, Reggie Miller had the exact same injury late in the 1995-96 season, missed the final five games of the regular season and returned, with the red-tinted shades, for the deciding Game 5 of their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks.

[MORE BULLS: Derrick Rose admits to looking ahead to 2017 free agency]

“I don’t know. It reminds me a little of Reggie when he had his little bone fracture, and Reggie opted for the cool Oakley shades is what he did,” Hoiberg said. “But I remember that, at least back in those days. I don’t know if the surgery has improved from back when he had it, but he was very sensitive to light in the beginning of the recovery. I can’t remember to be honest with you how long he had to wear the glasses. But we’ll evaluate that as we continue to get more information."

Hoiberg spoke to Rose and Joakim Noah exchanged texts with him yesterday after news of his procedure became public.

“You know in talking to Derrick last night, he’s still in great spirits,” Hoiberg said. “He had a really good day going until he took a really unfortunate elbow, so he’s still in a good place. The great thing is it’s not structural damage to keep him out. As soon as he’s healed, ready to go, he’ll be able to get back in there 100 percent.”

Noah has been around for all of the Rose injury chronicles, so he feels for him in a way many may not be able to. And considering it’s not a knee or severe leg injury, there’s not the sadness that accompanies the usual Rose situation.

“It’s unfortunate. First play, takes an elbow, goes down,” he said. “But it’s not the end of the world. He’ll be back in no time. I think he’s good. I mean, as good as can be. It always sucks to be injured and not be able to play the game that you love. But he’ll be all right.”

[MORE BULLS: Derrick Rose proclaims his innocence in strongest statements to date]

Life goes on in the meantime, especially considering they don’t feel he’ll miss much activity as far as picking up the offense.

“Well, he’s still going to be here in practice, he’ll still be learning,” Hoiberg said. “Hopefully it’s an injury that won’t keep him out too long. He’s in great shape. We don’t know how much he’ll be able to do even when he’s in his recovery mode, but he’ll still be here learning. So we’ll go as expected, as far as putting our stuff in. We added a few new ones in his absence today, and again, guys seem to be picking up things very well.”

Whether it’s Aaron Brooks, Kirk Hinrich, E’Twaun Moore or even Jimmy Butler, there won’t be any shortage of players willing to step forward as a playmaker in practice or in preseason, which will be used for experimentation anyways.

“We’ll get a lot of guys a lot of reps at that position,” Hoiberg said. “Again, they are guys that have played in this league a long time.”

He wasn’t in a dour mood by any stretch, but Hoiberg sounds fully indoctrinated into dealing with life without Rose—perhaps a bit too early for his liking.

Wendell Carter Jr. is now 6 feet, 9 inches---and other Bulls' height adjustments

USA Today

Wendell Carter Jr. is now 6 feet, 9 inches---and other Bulls' height adjustments

With player heights long a topic of question and debate, the NBA informed teams that all players must be measured by a team physician this training camp.

It’s all part of the league’s push towards transparency, which includes detailed reports on officiating and other initiatives.

So who grew and who shrank among the Bulls?

Wendell Carter Jr. dropped from 6 feet, 10 inches to 6-foot-9, which will do nothing to change the narrative that he's an undersized big man. Kris Dunn moved from 6-4 to 6-3. Daniel Gafford isn’t 6-11, as first advertised when drafted, but 6-10. And Denzel Valentine is no longer 6-6 but 6-4.

The Bulls even pushed down Coby White’s flamboyant hairstyle and discovered he’s 6-4, not 6-5.

As for those who grew, well, Zach LaVine’s All-Star candidacy now features him as a 6-6 guard, not 6-5. New big man Luke Kornet is really big; he’s 7-2, not 7-1. And Shaq Harrison somehow grew from 6-4 to 6-7.

That’s the official Bulls’ roster. 

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Insider K.C. Johnson calls Bulls the 'sexy pick' to make the postseason but tempers expectations

Insider K.C. Johnson calls Bulls the 'sexy pick' to make the postseason but tempers expectations

On the 2019 NBA Preview Show, NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson broke down what it would truly take for the Bulls to make the jump into playoff contention following a particularly tough 22-win season. 

Johnson, like most of the national NBA landscape, is optimistic about the prospects of the 2019-20 Bulls. He stated that it is "widely accepted that they had a pretty strong offseason," but cautioned us against simply penciling in the Bulls for a playoff spot this season. 

Despite the additions of savvy veterans like Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young, the Bulls still enter the 2019-20 NBA regular season as the second-youngest team in the NBA, as good of a reason as any to temper expectations.

That being said, the Bulls, from a simple talent standpoint, are much better than last year's squad that featured a ton of injuries and many Windy City Bulls/NBA G League call-ups. 

With a new coaching staff around head coach Jim Boylen and a new offensive philosophy, things will be very different in Chicago this season.

But as Johnson stated in Tuesday's 2019 NBA Preview Show, for the Bulls to achieve their ultimate goal of reaching the postseason, "basically, all of those [free agent] additions need to hit.

"You need to see Tomas Satoransky prove that he can be a full-time starter at that point guard position, you need to see Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen take a step towards stardom, you need to see Otto Porter Jr. stay healthy enough to contribute at that small forward position and you need to see Wendell Carter Jr. hit the two-way potential that the organization believes he has... and Coby White... needs to bring you something off the bench."

If that sounds like a lot, that's because it is and it appropriately represents the amount of work needed to make the leap from 22-wins to a playoff spot. 

What the Bulls have working on their side as of now is that everything we have seen and heard from the team throughout preseason has indicated that there is good shot that every one of the things K.C. Johnson named happens. 

Carter was limited to just 44 games due to injury last season and while he has looked rusty in the preseason, he has also had some explosive finishes and shown his trademark appetite for help defense and blocked shots. Carter blocked 2.0 shots per game over two preseason games but was abysmal in terms of his offensive efficiency (26.7% from the field), something to keep an eye on throughout the first week of regular-season games. 

Boylen recently made comments about managing Porter's workload, so clearly keeping Porter healthy amid the backdrop of the Bulls questionable wing depth is already something the organization has discussed and seems to have a concrete plan for. 

Satoransky has shown that he can comfortably handle the starting duties at the one as Johnson suggested, averaging 7.5 points, 4.8 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game while being lights-out from 3-point range (80% on 1.2 attempts per game). And while Sato represents the steady hand, Coby White represents the true "boom-or-bust" option in the backcourt, capable of going off for 25+ points or fading into the background while playing more of an off-ball role. 

The factor that Johnson mentioned that will have the greatest impact on the 2019-20 Bulls season is if Markkanen and LaVine can take a step towards superstardom.

LaVine looks clearly poised to do so, finishing the preseason third in the league in scoring at 23.2 points per game on 59.3/56.0/ 83.3 shooting splits. Markkanen, on the other hand, struggled to find his shot and despite being one of the top-three scoring options on the team, struggled to get his scoring average just over 11.0 points per game (11.2). 

It is only preseason action, so all results are to be taken with a grain of salt. But as we gear up for the start of the Bulls games that count on Wednesday, it is clear that the national outlook on the Bulls is much rosier than it has been in the past.

Johnson stated that the Bulls are indeed shaping up as a "sexy pick" to make the playoffs and that alone is a monumental step in the right direction as the franchise looks to put last season's disappointment further in the rearview mirror. 

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