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Derrick Rose vs. Michael Beasley: Bulls win by KO

Luol Deng

Luol Deng

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Updated: February 12, 2012 8:19AM

MINNEAPOLIS — There was a time when it was actually a debate: Michael Beasley vs. Derrick Rose.

Now it’s more of a punch line.

Heading into the 2008 NBA draft, the Bulls had the first pick with the Miami Heat in the No. 2 spot. The wish list for both was short: the 6-10 Beasley out of Kansas State or the 6-3 Rose out of Memphis.

They had enjoyed dominant freshman seasons and were considered franchise-changers.

As the game Tuesday showed, only one has lived up to those expectations.

Rose has a league MVP on his mantle, an Adidas contract in his pocket and a trip to the Eastern Conference finals last season on his résumé.

Beasley was traded from Miami before the start of last season, is out of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ lineup with a right foot injury and his future with the team seems to have more questions than answers as the T-wolves look to build around Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and 2011 lottery pick Derrick Williams.

Beasley’s time in the starting lineup might be over when he returns Friday.

The Bulls chose wisely.

The wounded

Shooting guard Rip Hamilton (groin) and backup point guard C.J. Watson (sprained elbow) remain sidelined, and coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t about to say when either will return.

“Everything is the same,’’ Thibodeau said. “C.J. is coming along. Rip is feeling better. I want to see them go through practice first.’’

Meanwhile, just to add a little scare to the situation, Rose was tripped up on a loose ball in the first half against Minnesota and grabbed his right leg while on the floor. He sat for a bit but returned.

First impressions

Rubio, the rookie point guard from Spain, didn’t disappoint against the Bulls.

“He has a great feel for the game, great vision,’’ Thibodeau said.

That was evident in the first half as Rubio keyed a rally that saw Minnesota cut an 18-point second-quarter deficit to six at the half. He had seven assists and five points in the comeback.

Still looking

Former Bulls guard Keith Bogans was rumored to be close to signing with the New York Knicks, but that rumor died Tuesday.

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