Bulls seem caught off-guard by Derrick Rose interview

Written By BY SETH GRUEN Staff Reporter Posted: 07/01/2014, 10:58am

Derrick Rose might need to talk to the Bulls about exactly what he intends to do this summer. The sides didn’t appear to be on the same page Monday.

In an interview Sunday with Yahoo Sports, Rose — who missed all but 10 games last season with a torn meniscus in his right knee — indicated he might not try out for the U.S. team that will compete this summer in the Basketball World Cup in Spain. The tournament begins Aug. 30.

That was news to the Bulls.

‘‘In terms of if he’s ready to go, he’s going,’’ Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. ‘‘He wants to go. That’s what he’s told me; that’s what he’s told USA Basketball. But it’s a step-by-step process. He’s coming along fine. The next step is to participate in summer league. If that goes well, he goes to USA [camp]. And if that goes well, he’ll play in those games.

‘‘You don’t know the context in which it was said. From what we’re seeing, he’s making good, steady progress. He looks great, and that’s all he can go by.’’

General manager Gar Forman said he hadn’t talked with Rose about the latest questions regarding his participation in Team USA’s camp, but he reiterated that ‘‘from a physical standpoint, [Rose] is doing terrific.’’

Forman also said all indications have been that Rose would try out for Team USA.

‘‘I still don’t know yet,’’ Rose told Yahoo Sports. ‘‘If I’m feeling right and the time is [right], for sure I will go out there. My body is responding good, but you never know.’’

His comments came at a critical time for the Bulls, who reportedly were set to welcome Carmelo Anthony to Chicago when free agency began at 11 p.m. Monday.

Though Rose indicated in the same interview that he won’t participate in recruiting free agents, he has to understand the need to pair him with another elite scorer.

Why Rose elected to make those comments is unclear, but it raises some questions: Despite what has been said publicly, is Rose questioning the condition of his knee? Or is he hedging his bet in case he isn’t picked to play in the World Cup?

‘‘We don’t know the context in which it was said, and what we’re selling is our team,’’ Thibodeau said.

‘‘Until, I guess, [late] tonight . . . we have no idea who we’ll meet with, where we’ll meet with them, what the situation will be,’’ Forman said. ‘‘We’ll start to put together our plans and go forward from there.’’

NOTE: First-round pick Doug McDermott, whom the Bulls acquired from the Denver Nuggets in a draft-night trade Thursday, is part of a dying breed.

McDermott, whom the team introduced Monday with second-round pick Cameron Bairstow, played four years at Creighton. The first four picks of the draft all left school after their freshman season.

‘‘I played four years, unlike a lot of guys who maybe went higher in the draft,’’ McDermott said. ‘‘I feel like that’s helped me. I’ve gone through a lot of adversity and seen just about everything on a college floor.’’

Email: sgruen@suntimes.com

Twitter: @SethGruen

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