Bulls staff visited Derrick Rose, Hoiberg said he's 'in great spirits'


Bulls staff visited Derrick Rose, Hoiberg said he's 'in great spirits'

The Bulls coaching staff paid a visit to Derrick Rose yesterday to get him up to speed about what he’s been missing from the start of training camp, and on the morning of the first preseason game, Fred Hoiberg believes the guard is itching to get back.

“We’ve added probably three sets, three actions, from when Derrick was here that first day,” the Bulls coach said. “You know, he was great. He was in great spirits, a great mood. He’s itching to get back here.”

Rose, whose left eye is still swollen shut after his surgical procedure to repair his fractured left orbital bone last Wednesday, still has some time before he can resume basketball activities. Further elaboration will be revealed after his follow-up appointment today.

“But again he’s moving around, he’s great,” Hoiberg said. “He just can’t do anything right now to get his blood pressure up, but it was great to see him. We also sent him the file of everything we’ve got going. After the game tonight, we’ll have another session with him before we head out of town.”

[MORE: Rose celebrates 27th birthday with questions, at a crossroads]

The Bulls travel to Boulder, Colorado for a game against the Denver Nuggets Thursday and will be in Winnipeg for a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday night, hence the checking on him before the team leaves town.

Hoiberg isn’t sure about further complications with the eye as far as vision issues, believing everything is still on schedule for a return before opening night on Oct. 27.

“They haven’t said that,” Hoiberg said. “The surgery went as planned, everything seems to be going as it’s supposed to at this point. But to answer your question, I guess we’ll know more about that after today’s follow-up.”

Although it isn’t a knee injury, Rose can’t do anything to keep his body warm as far as basketball shape, so staying abreast of the new offense is the best he can do in the meantime.

“The good thing about Derrick is he’s been in here since Labor Day,” Hoiberg said. “We’ve been able to get a little bit of a head start by watching film and getting in small groups, try to get a little bit ahead of the game going into training camp, so he did pick things up quickly. I’ll say that.”

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Rose’s wind and timing is essentially his only concern.

“And I don’t think it will take long to get that back, especially having, I guess it will be four days before we get back from this road trip, to watch and relearn everything,” Hoiberg said. “Now it’s about getting his timing back. Normally, you’re at least able to get on a bike and get a sweat, keep that going, get your lungs burning, but he hasn’t been able to do any of that. So I think the biggest thing in those two weeks leading up to the opener for Derrick is going to be all about getting his timing and getting his wind back.”

Draft night highlighted the unfulfilling feeling of this past Bulls season

Draft night highlighted the unfulfilling feeling of this past Bulls season

The door has officially been closed on the 2017-18 season for the Chicago Bulls, and the word that most comes to mind is “unfulfilling.”

Or maybe even “indistinguishable.”

Draft night was supposed to be a culmination of a painful seven-month stretch that only had occasional yet costly moments of light.

Death lineup? Meet Death March. And Death April, while we’re at it.

The Bulls brass sold everyone on a full rebuild after trading Jimmy Butler one year ago, with an unspoken promise that this draft would bear franchise-changing fruit—hence the general feeling of angst or even indifference with the solid selection of Wendell Carter Jr. and their not-so-secret affection of Chandler Hutchison.

It was why fans believe the Bulls got cold feet about trading to move up, and why they believe the Bulls weren’t being pragmatic in staying away from Michael Porter Jr.

Porter, some believe, has star written all over him given his prep ranking this time last year and the Bulls were in position to speed up this process without having to go into a painful Process.

They were desperate for a star, believing the tankathon had produced so much suffering it had to be something on the back end.

There was the fight (or the punch).

The aftermath.

The miserable 3-20 start.

The 14-7 streak that produced the audacity of hope.

The reality that 14-7 was damaging enough to the lottery chances that a 3-11 finish couldn’t rectify.

And finally, the coin flip that cost them five spots in the lottery one month ago.

So that empty feeling has less to do with Carter and Hutchison, who’ve done nothing to earn the “blah” reaction from the fan base and some media. It has everything to do with the unanswered questions over the last 82 games and lack of clarity over the three hauls from draft night last year.

It’s not that Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn underperformed individually last season, but the lack of cohesiveness due to injuries and circumstances has led to the varying thoughts.

LaVine is approaching restricted free agency and by all accounts is taking his continuing rehab in Washington very seriously.  Markkanen has added plenty of muscle since the offseason began, appearing as if he can play Michael B. Jordan’s in-ring foil in the next installation of “Creed” as Ivan Drago’s long lost son.

And despite the report about Dunn not working as hard on the floor this offseason, that would be more of a concern if this were late August, not June.

The last time they were seen together on the floor, they looked no closer to a pecking order than the day they arrived.

What we know is that they’re productive NBA players, capable of putting an individual tattoo on a game at a moment’s notice, skillful enough to take your breath away.

And for whatever reason, the expectations changed once the three displayed they could be dynamic on their own—a star needed to be anointed and groomed to go with the star they believed was coming their way after the season.

Management is fully behind Markkanen, but Paxson’s strong words about LaVine at the season-ending news conference illustrated how much it feels LaVine has to prove next season.

With his restricted free agency status looming, the Bulls’ initial offer will show how much they value him until and if he gets a better deal on the market.

And the fact the Bulls weren’t afraid to draft Trae Young while having a healthy debate about Collin Sexton on draft night has to show they have at least some skepticism about the future at point guard.

But stars—developing stars, acquired stars, drafted stars—have to do it on their own. No amount of promotion or prodding from management will validate their faith, if that’s the route the Bulls choose to go.

This has to be a meritocracy or it won’t work and, honestly, it’s time for a reality check.

All the worry about the Bulls getting back to title contention sooner rather than later seems like folks getting ahead of themselves.

The front office has taken its share of shots from media and fans, so some questioning is earned but they’re right about one thing. Rebuilds aren’t completed in a day or 12 months.

Expecting some magic potion to arrive in the form of a top draft pick isn’t going to cure what ills this roster, and it doesn’t seem likely all the cap space will result in a free agent choosing the Bulls over the usual suspects.

However, methodical building can look like complacency if not done with a sense of urgency.

And with urgency in mind, this past season was unsatisfying to say the least—heading into the next phase with two more young pieces to develop while the first three are still in the evaluation stage.

Loyola's March Madness hero Donte Ingram will play with Bulls' Summer League team

Loyola's March Madness hero Donte Ingram will play with Bulls' Summer League team

Donte Ingram's 2018 keeps getting better and better.

The March Madness hero, who buried a game-winning 3-pointer in the first round of Loyola's win over Miami, will play on the Bulls' Summer League team.

Ingram, a Simeon Academy graduate, had himself an incredible senior season with the Ramblers, who advanced all the way to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed.

In five NCAA Tournament games Ingram averaged 7.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists for the Ramblers. He also had 18 points in the MVC Conference Championship Game to secure the Ramblers' March Madness berth.

He'll join first-round draft picks Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison on the Las Vegas Summer League team, which will begin play early next month.