Derrick Rose ramps up rehab; Bulls contemplate moves
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter April 30, 2014 9:46PM
Updated: April 30, 2014 10:20PM
There was a lot of talk Wednesday about “the core’’ and the usual bob-and-weave during any conversation that included Carlos Boozer, but on exit-interview day for the Bulls, everything came back to Derrick Rose.
“[Rose is] really in a good place right now,’’ general manager Gar Forman said. “He continues to train. You probably saw he’s starting to play one-on-one, two-on-two. He was in [the Berto Center] this morning working out. So he’ll continue to ramp it up.
“And if everything goes according to plan, which up to this point it has, we’re optimistic that he’ll play with Team USA and have another good summer of work and be ready to go in October.’’
That’s the plan, and there are no ifs about it.
Unless there are setbacks in his recovery from right knee surgery, Rose is certain to play for USA Basketball in late July. The Bulls want him up and running when camp starts in October, and coach Tom Thibodeau is an assistant for Team USA and will do everything possible to make sure Rose is ready.
“[Rose is] going to be here more this summer, which is going to be good,’’ Thibodeau said.
He’ll spend more time under Thibodeau’s watch than in California doing his usual offseason program.
“We’ll have him work with our team here,’’ Thibodeau said, ‘‘then we’ll see where he is in July. We’ll probably have more guys preparing for summer league, and that will be a good setup for him to go into the USA practices, which begin right after the NBA Summer League.’’
Thibodeau doubted the Bulls would throw Rose in summer-league games, but they undoubtedly want to have more control over his schedule as a sense of urgency is starting to creep in.
That can happen when your franchise player — who takes up a third of your payroll — plays in only 10 games over two seasons.
Thibodeau believes Rose will be back at a high level.
“[Rose] has had two unfortunate injuries,’’ Thibodeau said. “I think he has put a lot of work into his body. We’re optimistic that he’s going to make a complete and full recovery. Hopefully, he’ll have an opportunity to play some this summer with USA Basketball. And then we’ll go from there.’’
But Thibodeau admitted that “how we surround Derrick will be critical.’’
That’s where Forman and vice president John Paxson come in.
There seems to be a mutual interest between the Bulls and D.J. Augustin to at least sit down when free agency begins and have discussions about bringing him back as a capable backup.
“They definitely gave me an opportunity, I owe them a lot and, like I said, it’s not always about the money,’’ Augustin said. “It’s where you feel comfortable or where you fit in. I definitely want to be here, and hopefully everything works out.’’
When asked if the Bulls would pursue Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James, both possible free agents, Forman was vague.
“Again, you don’t know what direction it could go,’’ he said. “It will be an active summer for us.’’