When Derrick Rose went down on November 22 against the Portland Trailblazers, the initial fear for all Chicago Bulls fans was that he may torn his left ACL, the opposite knee that caused him to miss all of the 2012-2013 season. There was some optimism due to his ability to run a little bit after his injury, unlike his first knee injury.
The next day, the diagnosis came out as a medial meniscus tear, which had two different options for surgery, and it was unknown which one would be needed until the knee is actually cut open for injury.
If part of the meniscus is removed, the recovery time is just a matter of weeks, but Rose ended up getting the second option, getting the meniscus reattached. This surgery provided more long term security with his knees, something that he desperately needed, considering his original knee trouble.
According to one Doctor, Dr. Mark Adickes, the odds of tearing an ACL are 1:1,750. However, after suffering that initial knee injury, the odds of another serious injury to either knee skyrockets to 1:33. While Derrick Rose will always have this added injury risk to knees, the odds of him not having a career ending knee injury are lower with this procedure.
Former Trailblazers talented guard Brandon Roy had multiple knee issues in his career, and when he suffered a torn meniscus he opted to have the meniscus removed and returned eight days later for the NBA playoffs. Due to his multiple knee injuries, Roy was forced to retire at age 28. This is why Rose made the smart move by opting to miss the rest of the season, as one more knee problem could end his promising career.
Now, the Chicago Bulls need to move on without their MVP and continue to compete. The Bulls have gotten back to winning ways, after dropping four straight in the midst of Rose’s injury. The team’s record is currently 7-7.
The Bulls are unlikely to be as good as last year without Rose, because last year’s team was built around not having him with players who could score for themselves, such as Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson. The early returns have shown improved contributions from Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer, and rookie Tony Snell has played well in absence of the injured Jimmy Butler. However, this roster is unlikely to stay intact at the end of the season.
This is why the Bulls are likely to trade Luol Deng or Carlos Boozer as well as Kirk Hinrich. Deng and Hinrich are free agents at the end of the year.
First of all, Hinrich would be a good backup point guard, or a serviceable starter in the case of an injury for a playoff team. With Derrick Rose, again, coming back next season, and Marquis Teague likely developed enough to be a backup guard, Hinrich will not be needed.
Luol Deng on the other hand, is someone the Bulls would love to resign next year, but likely do not have the cap space to do so if they keep Carlos Boozer. If the Bulls resigned Deng, they could amnesty Boozer to free his contract. However, they would be more inclined to get a draft pick for him. If the Bulls fall out of the playoff race, one of these two should be traded, and it should be Carlos Boozer.
If the Bulls trade Boozer, they still have a good Power Forward who can step right in the lineup, in Taj Gibson. The Bulls also would have a good chance of having top international player, Nikola Mirotic come over to play next season. The Bulls have his draft rights, but have been able to lure him over due to the strength of their forward and center position.
If the Bulls trade Deng, or are unable to resign him this offseason, they would go back to the same problem they have had for the past few years, the lack of a solid shooting guard. Butler would slide back into the small forward position. The Bulls would also lose one of the most valuable players to coach Tom Thibodeau’s defensive system. Deng is one of the best on ball defenders in the NBA and also defends top players such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Paul George.
While Boozer is a strong offensive threat, his stats are similar to Deng’s and he is not the defensive presence of Deng, who is one of the teams few good three-point shooters. It is much easier to replace Boozer, and the Bulls even have internal options, so they should attempt to trade Boozer, not Deng.
All of this is dependent on the Bulls ability to continue to compete with the absence of Derrick Rose. The Bulls may be able to scarf up a low playoff seed, in which case the Bulls may attempt to trade Boozer in the offseason. All of these situations arose from the fact that this year needed to be the year for the Bulls, but the best player on the team suffering a season ending injury.