The Chicago Bulls have parted ways with their hometown hero — at least the closest thing they had to it.
The Bulls traded Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks on Wednesday in a five-man trade. Rose was never quite the hero he was expected to be thanks to his injury history, and now he’ll never have the chance to.
In exchange for Rose, the Bulls receive combo guard Jerian Grant, veteran point guard Jose Calderon and veteran center Robin Lopez. The Bulls also shipped point guard Justin Holiday and their 2017 second-round pick to the Knicks.
“Knowing Derrick as I do makes this trade a hard one. Everyone knows him as the local kid who became MVP for his hometown team, but not everyone got to know him like I did. While he is a terrific basketball player, he is an even better person with a tremendous heart,” said Chicago Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. “I wish him the best of health for the remainder of his career, and I want to personally thank him for everything that he did on the court and in the community during his time with the Chicago Bulls.”
“We will always be grateful to Derrick. He was a great teammate who put winning first, and nobody fought harder through injuries and disappointment. He wowed us all when he was on the floor and at his best. His MVP season was one for the ages. We wish Derrick nothing but the best moving forward,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman.
Furthermore, per the Chicago Tribune‘s K.C. Johnson, Forman said the Bulls are looking to get younger and more athletic, and this Rose trade is part of that plan.
With the loss of Rose and Holiday, the Bulls have drastically modified their backcourt, specifically their point guards. Calderon, recently acquired guard Spencer Dinwiddie and Grant will make up the Bulls’ point guard depth.
Calderon isn’t anything special. He’s a proven veteran past his prime, but he can still put up decent numbers. Last season, he averaged 7.6 points and 4.2 assists while shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 41.4 percent on threes in 28.1 minutes.
Grant, nephew to former Bull Horace Grant, is on the other end of the spectrum, as he is coming off his rookie campaign. He averaged 5.6 points and 2.3 assists in 16.6 minutes and shot poorly at 39.4 percent from the field and 22.0 percent on 3-pointers, so he does need some work. But he is only 23 and just got to the league. Grant’s father, Harvey, told the Chicago Tribune‘s Teddy Greenstein that Jerian will do well in the pick and roll offense.
Grant was even considered as the Bulls’ potential first-round draft pick last year:
Gar confirms Bulls were considering drafting Jerian Grant last year.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 22, 2016
Lopez, who averaged a near double-double of 10.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in his lone season with the Knicks, will fill the likely void of Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah, both of whom are unrestricted free agents that aren’t expected to return to the Bulls. Noah is more prone to return, as Johnson reported the Bulls still want to make him an offer this summer. But that’s not to say he will return, though.
With the Bulls’ recent acquisitions, it’s likely the Bulls will focus on a wing player in Thursday night’s draft. Prior to the trade, it made sense to focus on point guard to find backup for Rose, but now, as aforementioned, the Bulls are three-deep at the one. They have plenty of big-man depth, too, with Cristiano Felicio, Taj Gibson, Lopez, Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis. As of now, their wing players are just Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy and Doug McDermott, so it only makes sense to add more depth there.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.