By virtue of playing in the Eastern Conference, the Bulls are very likely to stay in contention for a playoff spot all season. Of course, making the playoffs is a far more modest goal than the one the Bulls carried into the year.
Derrick Rose‘s latest knee injury threw a wrench into the Bulls’ plans of competing for an NBA championship, and no matter how good a coach Tom Thibodeau is, Chicago won’t beat the likes of Miami or Indiana without Rose. This stark reality has led some to argue that the Bulls should make drastic changes to their roster, selling off assets like Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer to jumpstart a rebuilding process with Rose sidelined.
It’s an enticing idea, but not one the Bulls are contemplating right now, Bulls general manager Gar Forman told ESPN.com.
“This [injury] just happened,” Forman told Melissa Isaacson. “It’s too early to start to go down that road. … We’re not going to make rash decisions.”
The Bulls have more than $82 million in salary dedicated this season. Two key players, Deng and Kirk Hinrich, are eligible for free agency next summer, but that’s the only money likely to come off the books — and the Bulls would like to re-sign at least Deng, if possible.
With Rose healthy, the Bulls have proved that this is a group that can play with anyone. The question the Bulls now have to ask themselves is if that will still be true a year from now.