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Brian Windhorst: ‘Derrick Rose breakup with the Bulls has begun’

Bulls Rose Basketball

FILE - In this May 14, 2015, file photo, Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose watches as the final seconds tick away during Game 6 of the Bulls’ NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Chicago. Rose finds himself headed for surgery again, although this time the Bulls star is having an operation on his eye and not his knee after getting injured Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in practice. (Joe Lewnard/Daily Herald via AP, File)


Is there a disconnect between Derrick Rose and the Bulls?

There have been hints over the years.

In 2013, Derrick’s brother, Reggie Rose, said the Bulls hadn’t done enough to add talent around the point guard. Some people believed Derrick’s perception of his teammates delayed his return from injury. He remained out that entire season.

In 2014, the Bulls were reportedly dismayed Rose didn’t recruit Carmelo Anthony harder. The team was also reportedly concerned about Rose’s communication with the franchise.

This year, there was a report about a rift between Rose and Jimmy Butler. Of course, both denied it.

But is all this leading toward something bigger?

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

The Derrick Rose breakup with the Bulls has begun. I don’t know how long it’s going to last. I don’t know if it’s going to be complete. But you can sort of see it. The team and the franchise have moved on to a little bit of a certain extent.

I don’t think Windhorst is making this up. He’s a connected and responsible reporter, and I believe there are real issues here.

But also keep in mind Windhorst says he’s unsure whether the breakup will be completed. Teams and players often have rough patches. These could be fixable issues.

However, it does seem Rose and the Bulls are growing apart.

Butler has supplanted him as Chicago’s best player. Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah lead a deep supporting cast. That group is frontcourt-oriented, but the Bulls could get by without Rose – especially if they add another guard in a trade.

Dealing the two years and more than $41 million left on his contract would come with challenges. Chicago might be better off enduring an awkward fit until 2017.

Rose is looking forward to that date, when he plans to secure a lucrative contract in free agency. He added that he expects to come from the Bulls, but there are increasingly reasons to doubt that.