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Could Derrick Rose return to Bulls? Mutual interest reportedly there.

Knicks guard Derrick Rose, who received an MVP vote

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Derrick Rose #4 of the New York Knicks looks on during the game against the Charlotte Hornets on May 15, 2021 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Derrick Rose remains a Chicago legend — the homegrown star who started on the playgrounds, was drafted by the Bulls, and became the youngest MVP in league history with a fearless game that fit the city’s ethos.

Rose could be returning to sweet home Chicago this offseason.

Rose is a free agent, the Bulls desperately need help at the point, and while Chicago is focused on younger players to be the starters — Lonzo Ball and Dennis Schroder are the most prominent names — they are looking at Rose as a backup.

There is a lot of smoke around this idea. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN mentioned it recently. The best detailing comes from Jake Fischer at Bleacher Report.

”...there are strong indications from league sources that mutual interest exists between Derrick Rose and his storied hometown franchise, where he claimed league MVP honors in 2010-11. It’s unclear how Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau can stand in the way of the Bulls’ potential advances...

Chicago will likely search for more than one point guard on the free-agent market, with a goal of pushing its Zach Lavine-Nikola Vucevic tandem into the postseason, especially as Coby White recovers from a shoulder injury.”

Rose’s career has evolved and he is now a solid backup point guard who plays with a lot of craft. He averaged 14.7 points per game last season, not taking a lot of 3s (2.6 a game) but shooting 38.8% of the ones he took. He became an important part of the Knicks rotation as they became the surprise four seed in the East.

Of course, where Rose plays next season will come down to money. Rose made $7.6 million last season and likely will draw offers for a little more than that, an affordable price considering a quality backup point guard is a need around the league. Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks want him back, and they could pay to keep him, but the Bulls are in the picture and that has to be tempting to Rose.

For Chicago, they want to win — and prove to free agent to be Zach LaVine they are committed to winning. Spending the money on Rose helps with that perception.

And it will play well with Bulls fans.

Nothing is set in stone, but keep an eye on this. Rose could be going home.