It’s a self-assessment that Derrick Rose has no problem reminding the media of on a weekly basis.
The Bulls guard often points out his “high basketball IQ’’ whenever his decision making or film study is brought in question.
A self-evaluation, however, that many in the organization don’t share with Rose.
There’s a reason John Paxson and Gar Forman will have all eyes on point guards during this week’s NBA draft combine in Chicago. Not only because Rose could be exiting stage left entering the final year on his current contract, but also because there’s not a lot of faith that Rose can be a full-time point guard in Fred Hoiberg’s system.
It’s not that Rose is difficult to coach or that he’s incapable of doing what was asked of him under his first-year coach. As a matter of fact, Hoiberg went out of his way to praise Rose in his willingness to accept a new system.
But what the veteran did need from Hoiberg was constant supervision.
It was in late March that Hoiberg admitted how often his tutoring sessions had to take place with Rose, frequently reminding the former MVP of what was expected of him both offensively and defensively.
“It is important,’’ Hoiberg said, when asked about the constant communication he had to have with Rose. “He and I watch clips before the game, sometimes five to 10 minutes before we meet as a group with 32 minutes before the game, just show him the things I think are important. Clips from the previous game I think he needs to improve on, show some positive clips that he can build on.’’
And even that didn’t take at times.
Case in point was a Mar. 28 loss to Atlanta in which Rose was beaten on back-cuts twice by Jeff Teague, and then allowed Teague to go down the court unopposed for a jumper, as he was arguing a call.
Hoiberg called a timeout and had to remind Rose of what was discussed in the game-planning and shootaround, as well as getting the guard refocused.
That’s also why Hoiberg had no problem handing the point-guard reins over to Jimmy Butler in the four April games Rose missed, watching the Bulls go 3-1 in that span, while Butler averaged an eye-popping 21.5 points, 10.3 assists and 9.3 rebounds per game in those contests.
Sources indicated that the Bulls were set to draft a point guard last season, but when Bobby Portis was all but gift-wrapped to them, falling on draft night to 22nd, they couldn’t pass up the big man.
That likely won’t be the case come this June, as the Bulls will spend the next month inspecting the likes of point guards Kris Dunn, Tyler Ulis and Demetrius Jackson.
The hope is whichever rookie they pick, along with Butler and E’Twaun Moore – if they can re-sign the free agent-to-be – will give Hoiberg options, allowing Rose to move to the off-guard spot and focus on what he does best – scoring.
And as far as Rose moving to the two and being a defensive liability? Well, he was a defensive liability at times this season playing the point, so call it a wash.
“We couldn’t keep people in front of us, and that’s important,’’ Paxson said of Rose and his defense. “Especially, that always starts with your guards, especially your point guard, creating, setting a tone. That’s an area Derrick’s really going to have to work on this summer. We need our point guard to set the tone defensively, there’s no question about that.’’
No matter who that point guard eventually is.