It's always difficult or even impossible to see the silver lining in losing a star player for an entire season, but in the Chicago Bulls' case, it wouldn't be the end of the world if they lost Derrick Rose for the 2012-13 season.
Rose is currently recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered in the NBA playoffs last season, and there is a good chance he doesn't return for this one.
The important thing for the Bulls is to not rush Rose back. The star point guard is only 24 years old and still has a whole career ahead of him. There is no sense in taking a chance on his injured knee in the hope he can come back in time to save Chicago's season.
The Bulls have gotten off to a solid start considering they are without Rose.
Chicago currently holds a 7-7 record without its top player, but that record is a bit misleading. Only one of those seven wins have come against a team with a winning record, and that was against the Milwaukee Bucks, who are 7-6 coming into Friday.
Chicago has greatly benefited from a weak schedule to start the season, but that schedule will become drastically tougher as the 2012-13 campaign moves along. With that being said, the Bulls will find that wins will be tougher to come by, and that will leave them out of the playoff race.
If Rose were to come back at some point in the second half, Chicago might be able to squeak into the playoffs with a low seed, but that won't bode well for its chances of advancing far into the playoffs. Most likely, the Bulls will be faced with an early exit and a not-so-desirable draft pick.
However, if Rose sits out the entire season, Chicago will have a great chance to pick up a top selection in next year's draft. If that were the case, the Bulls could land themselves a young, top-flight player who can complement Rose for years to come.
The biggest problem in the Rose era has been finding another player to take some of the pressure off the star point guard. While they have tried to find such an important piece to the puzzle in free agency, it hasn't worked out exactly as planned (see: Carlos Boozer).
So, with that in mind, it's reasonable to think the Bulls can once again score themselves a big-time player in next year's draft. It has happened before (Rose), so it can certainly happen again.
And to put the Bulls in an even better position should they land that top pick, they don't need to depend on whoever it is they draft right away. Chicago has plenty of solid pieces as it is, and that will give their potential rookie plenty of time to get his feet under him for his first couple of seasons.
With Rose on the floor for an entire season, Chicago will once again be a powerhouse in the NBA like in years past. But the question will remain if this roster as-is can win an NBA title against some of the other top teams in the league.
But if the Bulls can add that second player through the draft to go alongside Rose, this team will be an NBA title favorite for the next decade, and that will make losing Rose for one season well worth it.
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