The Chicago Bulls endured a bitterly disappointing campaign during the 2015-16 season as they missed out on the playoffs for the first time in seven years.
Their poor finish coincides with the fact that it was the first season since Tom Thibodeau marshalled the pine. His replacement, Fred Hoiberg, had to deal with injuries to his superstar backcourt of Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose and he insisted on having former Defensive Player of the Year, Joakim Noah, in a reduced role.
Things obviously didn't work out too great for the Bulls and with Pau Gasol and Noah all but certain to leave in free agency this summer, there could be some major reconstruction at the United Center.
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According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, league sources at the adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy, have suggested Chicago are willing to part ways with either of their backcourt stars as they look to rebuild, but favour unloading Rose out of the two. Kyler's report reads:
"Rose is entering the final year of his deal and has commented numerous times on the ballooning salary cap and his next contract, much to the dismay of the Bulls front office and a large number of Bulls fans. Add that to an on-again, off-again intensity and there is a sense that both sides would welcome a change, especially with Rose entering a free agent year.
"At this point, it’s unclear which teams (if anyone) has made a real offer for Rose, especially given his $21.3 million salary. But it was said a few times that the name being talked about most among teams and scouts in Italy was not Butler, but rather Rose and there is a sense that a team that misses on a starting-caliber point guard in free agency may turn to the Bulls."
It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that the Windy City franchise are looking to shop around a player who is only one year away from free agency with a $21.3 million contract.
The 2011 MVP - and still the youngest ever player to win the award - will only turn 28-years-old by the beginning of the 2015-16 season. Despite his injury problems and the argument that he has failed to recapture his glittering early-career form since his ACL injury in 2012, there is plenty of tread left in his talented tyres.
Rose averaged 16.4 points and 4.7 assists in 66 games over the past season. Whilst they are respectable numbers, they pale in comparison to other elite point guards in the league like Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry.
Those stats also read as the second-least productive campaign of his seven-year career and a far cry from the 25 points a night he dropped during his MVP year.
Who would really want to pick up such an expensive contract with those numbers and the injury concerns to boot? He would certainly garner a lot of attention in free agency next summer, but, at the current price, it's a tough sell.