Derrick Rose's cinderella story with his hometown franchise came to a predictable conclusion on Wednesday when the All-Star point guard was traded to the New York Knicks in a five-player deal.
The Bulls acquired a pair of guards in the athletic Jerian Grant and the savvy Jose Calderon, as well as the 7'0" pivot Robin Lopez. In exchange, they sent a future second-round draft pick, Justin Holiday and their superstar floor general to the Knicks in what is sure to be the biggest deal of the summer.
The fallout from the deal has been extraordinary; how can the Bulls give up the youngest ever MVP, who is still only 27-years-old, for such a little return?
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The Chi Town-native endured three different knee surgeries and has missed 257 games through injury during his time in the NBA, which is the equivalent of over three entire regular seasons.
Chicago were going to shell out $21,323,252 for Rose to return to the United Center during the 2016-17 campaign and given what he was bringing to the table and how the Bulls missed out on the playoffs last season, those figures just didn't add up.
Rose's journey from Chicago kid, who fought his way to the top of the NBA at only 22-years-old, to expensive liability is an upsetting one for even his biggest detractors. The once explosive point guard became an enigma to many Chicago fans and a drain on their resources for others. With the Knicks' dire need for a glittering guard, the perfect storm concocted to grant Rose his reprieve.
General manager Gar Forman said during a news conference at the Advocate Center: "Derrick has obviously meant a lot to this team, this franchise and the city. We thought it was the right decision for the direction we're headed.''
With Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah also seemingly heading for the exit in free agency, the time was inevitably upon the Bulls brass to re-evaluate their direction. It became apparent that either Jimmy Butler or Rose would have to leave after blowing hot and cold as a tandem in head coach Fred Hoiberg's offense.
The Bulls probably could have recovered more assets in a trade for Butler, but the shooting guard's upside and overall health compared to Rose and his contract made it a no contest.
"Knowing Derrick as I do makes this trade a hard one,'' Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. "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.''
It's clear the organisation didn't enjoy moving on their prodigal son, but business is business and there won't be too many people picking holes in this decision from Chicago's end. It represents more of a risk for the Knicks, if anything, but that doesn't make the departure any less painful for Rose or the Bulls.