Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Thursday, Nick Friedell stops by to chat about the NBA season as well as the Chicago Bulls.
Friedell covers the Chicago Bulls for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.
Send your questions now and join the chat Thursday at 2 CT/3 p.m. ET!
ESPNChicago.com (2:59 PM)
Greetings everyone. Nick had some trouble getting into the practice facility today in Oakland, but he just got in and said to tell you he'll be on around 12:10 CT. Thanks for your patience.
Nick Friedell (3:15 PM)
Hello from Oracle Arena everybody ... where the Bulls are about to start practice. Let's get this chat rolling ...
Do you honestly think the bulls recent struggles are due to any Derrick Rose stories that may be going on? I personally think the losses of Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson are what did the team in. Nate cannot run the offense correctly.
Nick Friedell (3:17 PM)
I think it's a combination of a lot of things. The injuries have crushed the Bulls. Losing Hinrich, Gibson and Hamilton at the same time has really hurt them. But I do think the constant chatter regarding Rose and his status has had an impact as well.
angel c [via mobile]
Is there a scenario where rose misses the entire regular season but plays in the playoffs?
Nick Friedell (3:19 PM)
Thibs didn't rule that out the other day -- but I don't think it's going to happen. I think he's either going to play in the next week or so or he's not going to play at all.
Gabe in Orlando [via mobile]
Hey Nick keep up the great work. Do you think it would benefit both D. Rose and the Bulls if they started him alongside Hinrich once he comes back? Takes a little pressure off Derrick running the show and allows him to work himself back into the game mentally.
Nick Friedell (3:21 PM)
I think that's one of the reasons why they signed Hinrich. I don't think it would happen right off the bat but I'm sure we'll see that lineup at some point.
Is today's practice going to be any different than usual considering how badly the Bulls played last night?
Nick Friedell (3:22 PM)
It's different in that they are having a practice to begin with. In the last few years, I can only remember one other time when the Bulls have practiced on an off day during a long trip. Thibs was not happy with the effort last night.
Aaron (Indianapolis) [via mobile]
Do you think a healthy bulls team with rose returning can compete with Miami, New York, and Indiana to actually win the east?
Nick Friedell (3:23 PM)
No, not this year. I don't think anyone is beating Miami in the East.
Dale (Oak Park)
If the last step of Rose's rehab is him stepping out on the court and playing an actual game, because he admitted he's 100% ready physically, Why do you believe its taking rose to gain confidence in his knee, where Iman and Rubio had the confidence months ago? Is it the bulls front office babying Rose causing this?
Nick Friedell (3:27 PM)
The Bulls front office doesn't want to put any pressure on Rose at all. They know there is more at stake here than a handful of games at the end of the season. If he is ready to play, he will play, as Thibs has been saying. Would they like him to play this season? Sure. But if he doesn't I don't anybody will be angry at him.
What is Hinrich's status for tomorrow's game?
Nick Friedell (3:28 PM)
Game time decision. I think there's a better chance that Hinrich plays compared to Gibson but we'll see.
Dave (Menomonee Falls, WI)
Nick - In all seriousness, why should Rose even consider coming back this season? He's not comfortable with his knee yet and even with him the Bulls aren't realistically getting past the Heat in the playoffs. And that doesn't even consider how poorly the Bulls are playing right now. What would be the advantage of him coming back this late in the season with so little upside? Why not just wait until next year when they can start fresh and make a clean run at it again?
Nick Friedell (3:30 PM)
I think the Bulls want him to clear the mental hurdle of playing in a game again. It's been almost a year since he was last playing -- but I think a lot of people in Derrick's inner-circle agree with your assessment. Like I've said though, I think Derrick will be the one to make the decision. If he feels like he can play, he will play.
Nick Friedell (3:31 PM)
I'm just surprised how many people have openly questioned Rose and the way he's gone about his rehab process. It's been 10 months since major knee surgery. I think he should take as much time as he needs.
Nick, you are the man! will this hurt Rose's legacy if he doesn't come back this year? Adrian Peterson ruined it for everyone being an absolute freak of nature athlete....
Nick Friedell (3:32 PM)
I don't think so at all. If Derrick comes back and starts dropping 20 points a night again, nobody will remember he took a little more time to get back to where he wanted to be mentally.
You promised you would answer m next question at a bulls game in january. Do the Bulls regret keeping Taj over Omer? I'm not seeing much upside Taj these days, and Omer seems like an opportunity lost.
Nick Friedell (3:35 PM)
I don't think they regret that decision, Adrian. They like both players and they tried to keep both of them. I think the regret comes when the Bulls realize they let Asik walk away and got nothing in return. I don't blame them for not matching that poison pill contract -- I do blame them for not having the foresight to get something in return.
Nick, thanks for taking my question. If Rose sits out this year, the Bulls make a 1st round exit, and next year fall flat, what do you think that will mean for the team? Does Rose become frustrated and start making trade noise?
Nick Friedell (3:36 PM)
No, I don't think Derrick will suddenly force a trade. But if the Bulls don't improve themselves and add another star in a year and a half, then the are going to face a ton of criticism from all parties. They know they need another star, they've just got to figure out who the best fit will be and how the money will work out.
Nick- I think a majority of people are questioning Rose because he hasn't been in the media hardly at all during his rehab. This is causing everyone to get all excited after every "update" when in reality Dr. Cole said 8-12 mos. Would you agree with this?
Nick Friedell (3:37 PM)
Yes, I do. I think if the Bulls and Derrick's inner circle had allowed him to speak more/told him to give more frequent updates, this wouldn't have become nearly as big of a story as it has.
Nick,Why are you surpised people are turning on D. Rose? Do you think he deserves blind loyalty?
Nick Friedell (3:42 PM)
No, not all. I think it's fair to ask why he isn't playing and I think Rose understands the questions -- what I don't get is the people who aren't giving him the benefit of the doubt. He's built up an enormous amount of goodwill in the city of Chicago and now all of a sudden people are questioning his toughness 10 months after major knee surgery? I don't get it.
How involved is Rose in this practice?
Nick Friedell (3:43 PM)
He does everything in practices. The Bulls haven't gotten to the arena yet today -- but I will let you know.
Nick, what will you have left to talk about once DRose actually comes back...
Nick Friedell (3:44 PM)
Ha. I'm sure something else will pop up. It always does.
I think Derrick should take his time and do what's best for him and not submit to any pressure. But my concern is from a medical standpoint. Do you think if he sits out this year, that it may not be good for him in the long run to have not played a competitive NBA game in so long that he loses the muscle memory in how to be that effective in a game?
Nick Friedell (3:47 PM)
I don't think there is any fear medically. His knee is just as strong as it used to be ... if not stronger now after the surgery. If he sits out this season, I am sure he will find some games to get in this summer. I think he'll be fine either way.
shab (chi town) [via mobile]
since the recent struggles, don't you think Reggie rose was right about his comment regarding the talent surrounding rose?
Nick Friedell (3:48 PM)
I agreed with a lot of what Reggie said -- I was just surprised he said those things on the record. Given the Bulls' cap situation, I'm just not sure what else they can do right now.
You have said recently on ESPN radio that you don't know why people are "turning" on Rose. I think Rose's attitude towards the whole situation has hurt his image. Rose is saying that he doesn't mind if he misses the whole season and he is going to be patient. This comes across like he doesn't care about the hard work his team mates are putting in and it doesn't matter what happens to his team this year. I don't think that is the case at all but he could say things like: I want to play this year and I want to come back as soon as possible to help my team win but I have to make sure I am ready physically and mentally. I think Rose needs to show more desire to get on the floor to help his team win.
Nick Friedell (3:49 PM)
I think Rose cares deeply. And I think his teammates know that. They know he will play when he's ready and they are totally behind him in that regard.
Chris (Itasca) [via mobile]
I'm sure after a poor shooting night last it's tougher to answer... But do you see Marco as this teams future 2 guard? He's generally been good as a starter and hit some game winning shots... He's young, has good range, can handle the ball, can drive the ball... His defense is middle of the road but given their options he seems like a good long term fit
Nick Friedell (3:50 PM)
Belinelli has a chance to come back next season depending on the price -- but I think the Bulls will look elsewhere to upgrade this position first.
Andy (Oak Brook)
Nick, thanks for taking the time. With all this talk of "another star" that the Bulls need, WHO IS IT???? All the pundits and writers keep saying it, but no one will give a meaningful example of who gets us over the hump. Whether through trade or free agency. Who is your mind, is that guy?
Nick Friedell (3:52 PM)
Andy, the problem with that is that it's an unanswerable question right now. It all depends on who is available in a year and a half and if the Bulls re-sign Luol Deng. If they do, depending on the price, it will hamper who they have the ability to go after.
Kyle (Northridge, California)
Derrick has always been timid in terms of personality, often letting his game "speak" on his behalf. Do you think that factors into his decision to come back? That if he came back as "less than" the player he was as the MVP, that he would somehow be misrepresenting himself? Is it more about a fear of re-injury or a fear of losing his identity among his peers?
Nick Friedell (3:54 PM)
I think it's a fear of both ... and I think that's normal. Rose wants to be the player he was before the injury and if he can't be that guy right away he wants to get as close to it as he possibly can. He knows the pressure that is on him to come back and succeed.
Is Thibs to blame for our poor offense? He is among the elite coaches in the defensive aspect, could his lack of offensive game plan be the reason the bulls have fell short without Rose, and even with Rose?
Nick Friedell (3:57 PM)
I think the roster limitations and the injuries are more to blame. Thibs' offense is based on movement and when the Bulls aren't getting any and don't have a point guard to set them up, it's tough to win.
Sean (Joliet, IL)
Nick, should April 1 be the cutoff date for Derrick?
Nick Friedell (3:58 PM)
I think it should. I actually think it should be sooner than that -- but Thibs is still holding out hope and doesn't want to close off any of his options.
Brad (Tinley Park, IL)
So Nick, with as much as Hinrich and Rip have done for the team being injured, do you think you could have suited up and helped the team on the court about as much as they did this season?
Nick Friedell (3:59 PM)
If Hinrich and Hamilton were both healthy and playing I don't think the Bulls are in the tailspin that they have found themselves in.
Kenny (Chicago) [via mobile]
I understand most people believe its meaningless for Rose to come back because the chances of beating the Heat in a 7 game series seems like a fantasy, but lets be honest is that the way Rose is looking at this? I feel as a professional athlete he'd do anything under his power to spoil the Heats 2nd championship parade
Nick Friedell (4:00 PM)
I think Derrick wants to play. I think he wants to help out his teammates badly.
Nick Friedell (4:03 PM)
All right, everybody. I am out of here. Thanks for all the questions. I will talk to you guys from Chicago next week. If you are at a game, come over and say hello.