The metaphors are many: planting a flag on Mount Everest or landing on the Moon. Beating a champion in any sport feels just like either. For Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls, the question is whether they can, and if so, how?
Rose admits he got a boost watching LeBron James win NBA title
Tearing the ACL ligament in the knee is painful enough. Only people who have experienced it can know the feeling. Rose had the hard luck to join that group when he went down in the NBA playoffs back in May. Worst of all, though, was watching his teammates valiantly trying to win without him but failing and then seeing the hated Miami Heat and their start LeBron James take advantage to win the championship. Most experts believed if any team could stop Miami from reaching the Finals, it was Chicago. They had great defense, a savvy coach, and a 23-year old superstar in Rose who weren't in awe of King James like other teams. Sadly his knee injury changed the outlook in the Eastern Conference, and the Heat fought their way past Boston to crush Oklahoma City for the crown. In recent interviews, Rose said watching Miami win was hard, but at the same time it would push him to work even harder to reach his dream of bring a trophy back to his hometown. To do that he clearly needs to return healthy but also will need help. If the current Bulls roster isn't enough, are there moves to make moving forward?
Early forecasts put UNLV man Anthony Bennett on Bulls roster
Building through the draft is something every team likes to do, but it is too hard for many. Even the mighty Heat got it done with a flurry of spending in free agency. Chicago doesn't have that choice at the moment given the money they have locked up in veterans like Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer. That could change after this coming season, but early signs from college experts see the Bulls shifting their roster through crafty draft choices. One player mentioned frequently is a young man named Anthony Bennett. A small forward at UNLV (University of Nevada Las Vegas) he has earned praise from experts as a versatile big man who has many ways he can score. Together with head coach Dave Rice who just got extended for another five years, the Runnin' Rebels are early favorites to take the Mountain West conference title. Why Bennett is so interesting for Chicago is he would fill the same roster spot as veteran Luol Deng. If the team did draft him, that could mean the Bulls had plans on moving Deng through trade. Logic then says if the Chicago would unload a leader like him, then Boozer would almost certainly go, too. These moves would free up a lot of salary cap space, and with Bennett on board, the Bulls could use their money to find another star in free agency to team with Rose.
It's all speculation for now, but the Chicago Bulls aren't run by amateurs. They know Derrick Rose is a star, but if LeBron James admitted he needed help, then their mission should become clear. Anthony Bennett isn't the answer, but he would qualify as a start.