- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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CHICAGO -- Derrick Rose's brother and manager, Reggie Rose, said Thursday that the franchise hasn't put enough quality players around the Chicago Bulls star to win a championship and that could be a "big factor" in whether he returns this season from a knee injury.
Reggie Rose said he was speaking for himself and not his brother.
"What have you pieced together? Have you made any moves? Have you made any trades to get better? You know all roads to the championship lead through Miami," Reggie Rose told ESPNChicago.com. "What pieces have you put together for the physical playoffs?
"Joakim Noah is a great player. Luol Deng is a great player. But you need more than that. You have to put together pieces to your main piece. The players can only do so much. It's up to the organization to make them better."
The Bulls, who stood pat at Thursday's trade deadline, issued a statement from Derrick Rose on Thursday evening.
"I have always felt that the Bulls organization's goals have been the same as mine and that is to bring another championship to this city," Derrick Rose said in the statement.
Reggie Rose, meanwhile, expressed his frustration with the team's lack of movement.
"It's frustrating to see my brother play his heart and soul out for the team and them not put anything around him," Reggie Rose said.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was asked if Reggie Rose's comments could be disruptive to the team.
"Nah, not really," Thibodeau said before the Bulls hosted the Miami Heat. "Obviously, Reggie and Derrick are very close. We share the same concerns about Derrick's health, so that's not anything new. So it's not a big deal. And Reggie's entitled to his own opinion."
Thibodeau said Reggie's comments did not put Derrick in an uncomfortable position.
"To me it's not a big deal," Thibodeau said. "We all want the same things. We want Derrick's health ... and obviously, we're trying to pursue winning a championship. We share that in common. That's his opinion. He speaks for himself, not a big deal."
Pulling off a trade would have been complicated for the Bulls, who are hard-capped at $74 million in payroll this season.
"In order for us to do something we're not in a position to take on any real salary, so we're kind of limited in what we can do," Bulls vice president John Paxson said last month on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "I think our team has grown. It's not always pretty. Let's face it, we've had some ugly games this year, and that's kind of who we are right now. But we do grind it out and play hard.
"You're always on the lookout to do certain things, but I think our move hopefully will be bringing Derrick back into the fold."
The Bulls have been without Rose all season as he recovers from May knee surgery but have stayed near the top of the Central Division standings. They enter Thursday night's game with a 31-22 record and currently are the fifth seed in the East.
Initially believed to return sometime after last weekend's All-Star break, Rose said last week he wouldn't "mind missing this year" if he didn't feel ready to return and insisted that the decision is his to make.
Reggie Rose, who attended Thursday's game at the United Center, said the Bulls have known all along Rose could sit out this season, but the organization hasn't mentioned it because it would affect ticket sales.
"Everyone is expecting Derrick to come back," Reggie Rose said. "If Derrick comes back, they're going to sell more tickets. Is the reason for Derrick to come back to win a championship or make money? Right now, I don't believe a championship. Everything in the NBA is financial."
Bulls general manager Gar Forman declined comment when contacted by ESPNChicago.com.
Thibodeau said Thursday morning that Rose has "made the next step" in his rehab by participating in 5-on-5 drills Monday and Wednesday, but he is still uncertain when Rose will be back.
"The big thing is you have to recognize the intensity of practice is different than the intensity of a game," Thibodeau said. "So he's made the next step. He's got to do this for a while. There's no timetable. He's making good progress. He's right where he should be. We just want him to continue to concentrate on the rehab, and when he's ready to go, he'll go."
Reggie Rose believes Derrick Rose is close to playing this season, but he has to be ready in all facets before that happens.
"We can't give a timetable on it," Reggie Rose said. "It's up to Derrick. ... It's a possibility [he could miss the season]. It's about Derrick's career. If he plays in the first game and aggravates the injury, what are they going to say about him coming back too soon?
"This isn't a quick decision. This is a career decision. It's not about just making the playoffs. It's about my little brother's career. He has to be ready physically and mentally. I want him to be in a position not to fail and let everyone down."
Reggie Rose said Rose's camp communicates weekly with the Bulls and insists there is no disconnect.
"We talk off and on," Reggie Rose said. "It's not every day. I think everyone is on the same page. I just think at the end of the day it's on the player -- it's on Derrick to feel OK."
Rose's adidas contract dwarfs his deal with the Bulls, but Reggie Rose said adidas does not have a say in his return.
"Not at all," Reggie Rose said. "They have a partnership with Derrick. Derrick has a brand in their company. Adidas would love to get him back on the court. They've had two shoes released by him."
Information from ESPN Insider Amin Elhassan was used in this report. ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell contributed as well.
38mMichael C. Wright