The Derrick Rose contract has two more seasons inked on it.
A $42-million black hole in which there is no escape for the Bulls.
That’s why with the start of training camp less than a week away, it’s time for the organization to start the process of shaping the team with the No. 1 in a different uniform after the 2016-17 season comes to an end.
Forget the off-the-court missteps.
Oh, and there have been many. Refusing to come back during the second half of the 2013 season, despite team doctors clearing him. The infamous “meetings and graduation’’ comment from this past year. Causing ripples in the organization with the team bringing on his former rehabilitation specialist Jen Swanson. A lawsuit filed this summer by a “Jane Doe’’ alleging Rose and two of his friends sexually assaulted her in 2013.
The list goes on.
No, the Bulls need to start the separation process from a basketball standpoint.
Rose’s best is behind him. Through no fault of his own in many ways, his body has simply betrayed him. Not the first NBA player to go through it. Ask Tracy McGrady.
But the bigger picture is that the Association is not a point-guard driven league. Well, at least if that final destination on the drive is holding up the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Now before Bulls fans start throwing out, “Well, what about Golden State’s Stephen Curry? He’s a point guard with a ring.’’
He is, but Rose is no Curry. Not on any day that ends with the letter Y.
If the three-pointer is the new kingdom throughout the NBA, Curry wears the crown. A 6-foot-2 marksman with the ability to feed teammates, as well as shoot a career 47.1 from beyond the three-point line. He’s in a class of his own.
Rose is a career 30.4 percent three-point shooter, who is coming off a 2014-15 season in which he shot 28 percent from three. Newsflash – It’s not getting better. Meanwhile, his assists have been down the past two years, turnovers have been up.
Even more puzzling, he seems to have lost that killer instinct to consistently attack the rim. There were flashes last season, especially in the playoffs. But like a faulty PS4 controller, his turbo button sticks far too often.
Game 6 against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals – arguably the biggest game Rose had played in for over three years – was a microcosm of what the one-time league MVP has become, as back-up Matthew Dellavedova made Rose look like an early morning rec-league player.
What the Bulls have on their side is time. Time to start the rebuild for the Rose departure.
Joakim Noah comes off the books after this season, as does Kirk Hinrich, and even Pau Gasol if he doesn’t pick up his player option.
It will once again be a huge free-agent class, headlined by Kevin Durant.
Even better news for the Bulls? It looks to be a very friendly point-guard heavy draft.
Kentucky’s Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe will have eyes on them, as well as Demetrius Jackson from Notre Dame and Kris Dunn from Providence.
The Bulls need to grab one come June.
More importantly, Jimmy Butler actually looks like a player hell-bent on improvement rather than distraction, and is better suited to build around moving forward. Teammates like him, he has leadership abilities that Rose has never demonstrated, and he plays both ends of the court.
It’s his time now.
As for Rose, his time with the Bulls should be dwindling. Two more seasons to be exact.