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Derrick Rose prepping for 'next step'

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Derrick Rose was at the Berto Center on Thursday, although he didn't stay for the lemon pepper chicken and NBA draft intrigue.

Rose is healthy, working out and playing in five-on-five scrimmages at the Bulls' practice facility in preparation for ending an almost two-year hiatus as the centerpiece of the Chicago Bulls.

"Derrick, he looks great right now," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said after the team traded for Doug McDermott in a draft-night deal. "So he's preparing for the next step, practicing with the summer league team and then Team USA, and we'll go from there."

While the Bulls are gunning for Carmelo Anthony starting next week in free agency, getting Rose, who tore the medial meniscus in his left knee last season, back to his old self is the priority for this organization.

Rose, who played only 10 games last season after missing all of the 2012-13 season following ACL surgery on his right knee, is trying to get his season going by making the FIBA Basketball World Cup roster for Team USA this summer. It's no gimme.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski recently told ESPN Chicago that he is curious to see how Rose can handle the mental aspect of playing competitive basketball.

Practice starts July 28 in Las Vegas and moves to Chicago on Aug. 14 for the World Basketball Festival. Team USA plays Brazil on Aug. 16 at the United Center.

Rose will practice with the Bulls' summer league team, which starts play in the second week of July in Las Vegas. But no, he won't play for the team.

"We'll stay away from that," Thibodeau said with a laugh.