Hawks' Johnson has high praise for Rose

February, 12, 2010
2/12/10
5:40
PM CT
FRIEDELL By NICK FRIEDELL
ESPNChicago.com
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If Joe Johnson is going to sign with the Bulls this summer, he isn't about to tip his hand right now.


The Atlanta Hawks forward, and soon to be free agent, was asked specifically at Friday afternoon's All-Star media session if he would consider playing in Chicago.


"Everybody's in consideration," he said. "There's not just one team. Everybody's in consideration."



When it came to Bulls point guard, and fellow All-Star Derrick Rose, Johnson was a little more open about his thoughts.



"I think he's improved a lot," Johnson said of Rose. "As a point guard coming into this league, I think that's the hardest position to learn coming into the NBA. Because you have to be a leader for your team. And you have to get everybody in the right spots and still control your own self. I think from last year to this year he's gotten so much better."



The Bulls, who are expected to have millions to spend this summer, will certainly keep their eyes on Johnson, especially if they can't land players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.


While Rose is always hesitant to directly name who he would like to play, he admitted earlier this season that Johnson is one of the guys he would really like to play with in Chicago.


"He's a helluva player," Rose said in December. "I'd love to play with him, but we'll just have to see."


Johnson believes that a lot of players will consider coming to Chicago because of the young point guard.


"He's a great point guard," Johnson said. "I think any guy would love to play with him."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5