Every week, ESPNChicago.com Bulls writer Nick Friedell is joined by two other ESPN writers to weigh in on three questions that are on the minds of Bulls followers.
1. Take your pick: Derrick Rose or the No. 1 selection in the 2014 NBA draft?
Nick Friedell: From a talent perspective, I'm still going with Rose. If you believe what Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said last week when he told SNY.tv that there are no "transcendent" players in the draft, then nobody has the ability of Rose. I choose to side with Boeheim. I think Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker are going to be great players, but will they be superstar players? Nobody knows. I know, nobody knows what's going to happen with Rose, either, now that he has had surgery on both knees. But Rose has proven to be an MVP-caliber player. There aren't many players who have his type of speed and skill. I know I'm in a minority with this opinion, but I believe he can come back close to the level he was at before the ACL tear in April 2012. This draft class may turn out to be unbelievable, but like Boeheim, I don't know if there is a guy like Rose.
Jon Greenberg: The sentimentalist in me says Rose. The realist in me says maybe take the pick. I guess there's a part of me that can't believe Rose's story ends this way. Can you imagine, though, how quickly fans would welcome Parker and act like Rose was some bum, instead of the youngest-ever MVP who had two horribly unlucky knee injuries? It would take like 15 seconds tops, because sports fans are, by design, nuts. Still, Rose is only 25. He might seem like an old 25, partially because, again, he was the youngest MVP in NBA history. Before he tore his meniscus in Portland, he showed that the athleticism, the pure speed, was still there. He just needed the timing. But time ran out and now we're talking about option for a draft pick over him.
Scoop Jackson: Unless it becomes officially known that Jabari Parker is not staying at Duke to play one year with Jahlil Okafor next season then, NO. I'm keeping Rose. Parker is the only player who could fill the all-around void that will be lost if the Bulls decide to give up on Derrick. Other than Parker there is no player -- not Andrew Wiggins, Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart, Shabazz Napier, Doug McDermott or Russ Smith -- who will be available at the No.1 pick who will turn into over their career what Rose became pre-injury.
2. Aside from LeBron, which free agent would you like to see land in Chicago this summer?
Nick Friedell: The problem for the Bulls is that they don't have the cap space to add any big-name/max-level players. Carmelo Anthony would be a great addition for this team, but he would have to take a huge pay cut. That's not going to happen.
Jon Greenberg: Well, LeBron's not coming anyway, so trust me, I wasn't thinking about him. The Bulls will still have salary-cap problems, even if they amnesty Carlos Boozer, which I don't think is a given. I guess I'd like to see them add a shooting guard and move Jimmy Butler to Luol Deng's spot, if, as many expect, Deng leaves via free agency. Who is going to take a midlevel deal or equivalent "small" money to come play for the Bulls? Expect some more small deals for backup-type players. I have no players for you to get excited about.
Scoop Jackson: To me, there's a difference between someone getting a team over the hump and someone coming in to save a team. I'm not a fan of the latter, so I wouldn't even want LeBron here, to be honest. He's off my list. But to answer the second part of the question, I'd have to say Zach Randolph. After him, I'd still like to see Melo here playing alongside Rose and for Thibs. I really think he'd turn into the player who everyone thinks he has the ability to be.
3. Will Nikola Mirotic play for the Bulls next season?
Nick Friedell: Yes. The Bulls will do everything they can to bring him over, but it all depends on how much Mirotic wants. If he wants more than the midlevel exception, it will be interesting to see what they want to do. Still, I think they find a way to get him over.
Jon Greenberg: If they amnesty Boozer and don't re-sign Deng, it's a significant possibility. The Bulls recently met with Mirotic in Spain to talk about his 2 million euro buyout, which is a good sign. They need to do something to jump start this team and it seems as though he would be a very good value for the team's midlevel exception money. The Bulls are a very conservative team, so I just can't bank on them doing anything exciting. But I'll go against my better judgment and say yes. They'll figure out a way to get it done.
Scoop Jackson: Only if there's a guarantee from the Bulls that he will be in their starting lineup next season. And that's hard to determine right now without knowing who's gonna be on the roster at that Deng/Boozer/Taj Gibson position next season. Unless they can convince Nikola that for his first season in the NBA he's going to be a Toni Kukoc/Manu Ginobili-type, where he's the premier sixth man getting around 30-35 minutes a game, then it's hard to see him coming here next season.