Derrick Rose has some big plans for the offseason. The Chicago Bulls' season may be coming to a premature end but the hard work will not be stopping for the point guard.
The Bulls are sitting ninth in the Eastern Conference, three games behind the Detroit Pistons and their early finish to the campaign could be confirmed if the Motor City franchise overcome the Washington Wizards tonight.
But it could prove to be one of the biggest offseasons in Rose's career as he prepares to come back fitter than ever. The 27-year-old has struggled with injuries throughout the last four years of his career, however, he has been fit for the majority of 2015-16.
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Having racked up 65 appearances in the red and white of Chicago, he will be looking to recreate the form of 2010-11 that saw him claim the regular season MVP award.
"Of course, it's the biggest offseason, but there's no pressure or anything," Rose told the Chicago Tribune before the Bulls took on the Heat. "Hard work takes care of that. … I'm prepared right now, so this offseason is going to make me even more prepared.
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"This is a big summer coming up for me as far as working out, staying at peace with myself, keeping calm (and) being with my son."
It has been a tough season for the Bulls and rookie coach Fred Hoiberg. Having reached the conference semi-finals last year, it could be the first time Chicago have been not involved in postseason action since 2008.
Hoiberg has had to deal with a number of issues. Jimmy Butler, Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah have all missed chunks of the season and it has cost the franchise dearly.
Rose's ability to stay clear of any serious problems has been one of the few plus points, and the guard has managed the most games since he was named MVP five years ago. Despite that, he is averaging 16.5 points and 4.7 assists per night, some of the lowest numbers of his seven-year career.
He has been unable to influence the Bulls in the way he has in years gone by, but there is no doubt that at his best, he is still one of the premium points in the league.
Along with Butler, the backcourt duo have insisted they will work together over the season and that can only be a good thing for the Central Division organisation moving forward.
Along with helping Chicago return to their expected level, there is also the matter of Rose's unrestricted free agency this time next season.
The Bulls' number one is currently on a max deal at the United Center and will be hoping to show franchises he still warrants a salary at that level.