Bulls

Despite loss, Rose enjoyed All-Star experience

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Despite loss, Rose enjoyed All-Star experience

Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011
Posted 10:40 p.m. Updated 11:46 p.m.

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

LOS ANGELES Derrick Roses modest stat line Sunday 11 points, five assists, three rebounds and a steal didnt come close to approximating the Bulls point guards typical performance, but despite his relatively quiet evening and the fact that his East team lost, 148-143, the third-year superstar wasnt overly disappointed.

Not at all, answered the ever-competitive Rose when asked how if he felt badly about the defeat at the hands of the West. The regular season, Id die for one of those games. Those are very important, but this is for the fans.

Just being able to see the fans, he continued when asked about his favorite part of the weekend. The fans here are great, came out to support us. I hope they had fun. Ive got a lot of fans here cheering me on, cheering the team on. I wouldnt take it back for anything. It was exciting.

As for the game itself, the West team hopped out to an early lead, buoyed by the scoring of hometown favorite Kobe Bryant of the Lakers and Oklahoma City small forward Kevin Durant (34 points). Bryant (37 points) won the games MVP award, the fourth occasion hes taken home the honor in the leagues annual affair.

Both teams were really going at first, then the West got up by a large amount. But we fought our way back in, made it kind of a tough game, said Rose. It was too late. It was definitely too late. Thats what we get for waiting that long.

Its an All-Star game. Its not like everybodys playing their top defense, he continued. Youre not on your team, so other than talking and communicating with each other, its real hard to tell people to play a certain type of defense.

Although Roses East teammate, Miamis LeBron James, recorded a triple-double (29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists) and sparked the conferences near-comeback, Rose came away most impressed with Bryants performance.

I have to say Kobe. He was out there doing his thing and thats what he normally does. He loves games like this. Thats why hes one of the best players in the NBA, marveled Rose. He played great. You kind of knew that he was going to try to show out tonight, especially being in his hometown. The Lakers are here, the fans are here. You kind of knew he was going to come out and go for it.

Rose, whos used to having the ball in his hands as a dual scoring-playmaking threat, also discussed the difficulty of keeping his high-powered teammates happy in the exhibition contest.

These games are hard, man. Theyre definitely hard for me. Its just one game, youre out there and youre just playing, playing with great players and Im a point guard. So, getting people the ball, trying to feed people, find people in the open court thats what point guards are basically used for in this type of game, he explained. If Im shooting too much what other guys are thinking and stuff like that it comes into play, especially playing on a team with people youve only been practicing with only one time.

Still, he did appreciate the fact that the likes of the aforementioned James could also share ballhandling responsibilities.

Rose stated: If anything, you get rest. You see how rested you get when you dont have the ball in your hands all the time. Coach Thibs only has a couple plays where the ball isnt in my hands when Im in the game, so Ill probably have to tell him to put some more in.

However, Rose did admit to being slightly disappointed in his outing, specifically his slow start, as he scored only two points in the first half.
Benny the Bull caught "Bieber Fever," after spotting pop icon Justin Bieber sitting courtside for the NBA All-Star game on Sunday. (AP)
Not being prepared for the game. I didnt shoot in a couple of days. Not practicing when we were supposed to practice, said Rose. All that comes into play, so Ive got to get back in rhythm, get back to my routine and hopefully do well in the next game that we play in.

All about the shoes

Rose created a minor fashion stir by first wearing a yellow version of his signature shoes, then switching over to the latest update of the model, Adidas adi Rose Zero 1.5, which hell wear for the remainder of the NBA season.

I heard about it the yellow shoes the whole game, said Rose of his eye-catching footwear, which were themed after the colors of his alma mater, Simeon Career Academy. Other players teased him Why did adidas put you in those shoes and stuff like that, but it was all fun and games. Theyre my shoes, so I love them.

I came up with the idea about wearing the yellow ones, then wearing my new shoes that Im going to wear the rest of the year and adidas kind of listens to everything I tell them, he continued. Shout out to Simeon because I didnt wear No. 25 (the number he wore in high school; Simeons top player traditionally wears that number in memory of slain 1980s Simeon star Ben Wilson) they thought that I was going to wear No. 25 when I came into the NBA, but I went with No. 1 so the yellow shoes are definitely for them.

Back to business

Even with the light-hearted nature of the weekend, Rose turned serious when discussing the Bulls season, which he has even higher hopes for with the impending return of center Joakim Noah from injury.

Just keep winning. Stay focused, keep winning and play with an edge. It seems like every time we play with an edge, we always have success, so thats what were going to try to do, said Rose. Weve got to keep balling. We cant take any steps back where its hurting us. If anything, I think itll help that Joakim is coming back because he brings energy and hes a great guy.

His conditioning looks all right, but its nothing like game condition. We have a lot of confidence in him when he comes back, he continued. Hes shooting the ball well right now. Hes got the cast off now and is shooting well. I think when he comes back, hell probably shoot a jump shot in a normal game because hes been working on it.

Box Score

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

How Jabari Parker impacts Bulls’ salary cap in 2019

How Jabari Parker impacts Bulls’ salary cap in 2019

The Bulls ‘rebuild’ seems to be just a one-year experiment after the team signed Chicago native Jabari Parker to a two-year, $40-million dollar deal on Saturday. Although on first look Parker’s contract would seem to restrict what they can do in free agency next summer, the reality is that the 2nd year team option gives the Bulls plenty of flexibility with—or without- Parker next year.  

If the Bulls pick up the option on Parker, they will still be able to sign a max free agent next July if they make the right moves between now and July 1, 2019.

The NBA projects the 2019-20 cap will rise to $109 million, up from $101.9 million for the upcoming season. The league bases a ‘max’ salary on years of service. A 10-year vet like Kevin Durant is eligible for more ($38.2 million) than his teammate Klay Thompson ($32.7 million), an 8-year vet. If the Bulls keep Parker, they’ll enter free agency with approximately $15.4 million next summer—far short of the cap space needed for a player like Durant or Thompson, but that number is misleading. The $15.4 million also includes cap holds (salary slots assigned to a player based on several factors including previous year’s salary). The cap hold is designed to prevent teams from completely circumventing the soft cap model the league uses. The cap holds for Bobby Portis ($7.5 million) and Cameron Payne ($9.8 million) are just theoretical if the Bulls don’t sign either to a contract extension before the October 31, 2018 deadline. 

Let’s say the Bulls are in line to sign a star free agent like Thompson; all they would need to do is rescind any qualifying offer to Payne or Portis, and then renounce them as free agents. This would effectively take the cap holds off the Bulls’ cap sheet and give them approximately $32.7 million in cap space. Coincidently (or perhaps it’s no coincidence), that’s the exact salary a 7-9 year free agent like Thompson would command.

In order to create enough space for Durant and his increased ‘max’ slot, they would need to waive and stretch a player like Cristiano Felicio or incentivize a trade involving a player by attaching another asset in the deal, like a future 1st round pick.

If the Bulls decline the team option on Parker, then they will enter free agency with anywhere between $35 million and $53 million. 

Gar Forman finally comes through on promise

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USA TODAY

Gar Forman finally comes through on promise

"We felt we needed to start getting younger and more athletic..."

It was 2016 when Bulls general manager Gar Forman made this statement, drawing ire from many Bulls fans for what felt like—at the time—a disingenuous statement. A swap of Derrick Rose for Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant making you younger and athletic? No one was buying it.

But fast forward to July, 2018, and it is clear that at the very least, Forman has finally made good on his promise. The signing of Jabari Parker has been met with mostly positivity, as a short-term commitment to a former No. 2 overall pick is something that is difficult to hate. But when you factor in the rest of the pieces currently on the roster, it is OK for Bulls fans to be downright giddy over the future.

Lauri Markkanen is 21 years old, Wendell Carter Jr. is 19, Zach LaVine is 23, Jabari Parker is 23 and Kris Dunn is the elder statesmen of the group at 24 years old. If these five become the starting group moving forward, as expected, it would represent one of the youngest starting groups in the league with an average age of 22. 

And athleticism can be checked off the list as well. We know Markkanen has hopsLaVine showed off the explosiveness he was known for last season and Dunn had some dunks last year that legitimately gave fans a Rose flashback

Markkanen and Carter Jr. have both flashed the ability to switch onto guards for a limited amount of time and guard in space, a huge component of any defense that wants to switch a lot. And it also is the type of athleticism that is much more important at their position.

At this stage, Parker represents the biggest question mark athletically speaking. Despite his young age, the two ACL injuries make you wonder if there is any room for him to improve his agility. But at the least, Parker can drive to the basket and finish over the top with authority, even if his defense doesn't catch up.

So, Bulls fans are starting to become intrigued with this roster.

Fred Hoiberg wants his teams to play an up-tempo game, and last season was the first year during Hoiberg's Bulls tenure where the team actually ranked in the top 10 in pace. So if you have followed the Bulls carefully since Thibodeau's departure, you see a front-office that supports their new head coach, yet wasted a couple years to commit fully to his vision, and to a direction for the franchise.

But the point is Forman finally chose a direction.

The Bulls have a young core, and financial flexibility moving forward. And for all the jokes the "GarPax" regime have endured over the years, they have put the team in a position to have sustained success if they hit on all the young players they have acquired. 

And if they are wrong in their assessment of their young talent? 

The Bulls would be able to let Parker go, now that we know the second year of his contract is a team option. LaVine's offensive skill set will allow him to still have trade value years from now, as his contract won't look nearly as bad over time. 

And if the Bulls flurry of moves make the team significantly worse in a year where many expect them to take a step forward, all it would mean is being equipped with a high lottery pick in what is shaping up to be a top-heavy 2019 NBA Draft.

So Gar Forman wanted the team to get younger and more athletic, and though it took longer than it should've, the front-office made good on their promise. That is something that Bulls fans can believe in.