The Chicago Bulls pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade Wednesday, sending former MVP Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks, and leaving many in the Windy City stunned by the move.
Jimmy Butler posted a heartfelt tribute to his now-former teammate on Instagram
The Bulls’ front-office says the deal is part of a “retool rather than a rebuild.”
Per the Chicago Tribune:
“Through injuries and age, we felt that window was coming to a close,” general manager Gar Forman said at an Advocate Center news conference. “A year ago, I think you could start to see signs it was coming to a close. But we didn’t have a lot of flexibility and wanted to give the group the year to see where we could go. […] We need to get younger and more athletic. We feel it’s the first step in that direction.”
The next step comes Thursday, when the Bulls own the 14th and 48th picks in the NBA draft. […] Then comes July free agency, where the Bulls could have $25 million to spend. (Robin) Lopez’s arrival all but ensures the departures of free-agent centers Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah, both of whom, coincidentally, will be pursued by the Knicks. Noah, whom Forman said the Bulls will still pursue, also has been linked to the Lakers and Timberwolves.
“Derrick obviously has meant quite a bit to this team, this organization and this city,” Forman said. “We want to thank him. … Derrick’s going to have a very good year. We’re all very confident of that. But we had to make a decision we felt was best for us moving forward.” […] That’s because the Bulls had received strong signals that Rose would be open to testing free agency in 2017 and likely to leave his hometown, sources said. Rose, in the final season of a deal that will pay him $21.3 million this season, will again be seeking maximum dollars.