It’s been so long since Derrick Rose was the player grade school kids only vaguely remember from his 2011 MVP season, it’s hard not to think he’s been stranded on Neptune in the ensuing years. He hasn’t, and — in case you forgot — he played this past season, albeit as a shadow of his former self during 10 regular-season contests before injuring his other knee. He’s come back from two major surgeries, though, and he could have suited up in June. Teammate Taj Gibson, for one, thinks Rose will “come back dominant” next season.
Taj is in a tenuous situation right now with the Bulls reportedly offering him up — along with European import Nikola Mirotic and rookie Doug McDermott — in an attempt to trade for disgruntled Timberwolves forward Kevin Love.
Still, Gibson was optimistic about the Bulls when he spoke with Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago today during an appearance at his basketball camp, and foretold a full Rose return:
“Derrick’s been having a great summer. He’s sacrificed, stayed in Chicago all summer to work on his game. He wants to let his game speak for itself. He’s staying away from all the negative stuff, just working on his game. Every day I go in the gym he’s there and moving forward. He’s going to come back dominant.”
Despite the summer acquisition of Pau Gasol — who plays the same power forward role as Taj — Gibson’s just as excited about the signing because it means even more flexibility on the court. There aren’t many players as team-oriented as this in the contemporary game.
“I think it’s a great addition for our team,” Gibson told ESPN. “It gives us more depth. I think we have more size up front. One thing about our bigs, Thibs [Tom Thibodeau] is going to have so many different options. He can go small, he can go big, we have a lot of different lineups.”
As for those pesky rumors involving Taj, he’s pretty relaxed about the whole thing, and said as much when Friedell asked him if he was hoping to stay in Chicago,
“Without a doubt. I’m a nonchalant kind of guy. I’m not a talkative kind of guy, just let my game speak for myself. But this place has been home for me, a lot of good things. I’m looking forward to the future, but we got to see what happens.”
Gibson has three years and $25.5 million remaining on the $33 million extension he signed in the fall of 2012. The 2013-14 runner-up for NBA Sixth Man of the Year has a cloudy future with the Love rumors in the air, but no cloudier than Rose. Instead of holing up in Chicago, he’s remained upbeat about his future, which is more than we can say about some Bulls fans we know.
Will Rose come back dominant?
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