According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bulls might decide to remain idle through the Feb. 21 date:
In all likelihood, the Bulls will be very quiet come trade deadline, knowing they could be landing one of the premiere players in the league maybe as soon as Feb. 26, when the Cleveland Cavaliers come to town and Derrick Rose can write the final chapter of “The Return.’’
Chicago has done a great job without Rose this season, posting a 30-22 record, which has put it in the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Cowley's speculative return date for Rose is extremely rosy, especially after reports have surfaced that Rose may not return at all this season, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:
"I don't have a set date," Rose told USA TODAY Sports on Monday in his first extensive interview since the 2012-13 NBA season began. "I'm not coming back until I'm 110%. Who knows when that can be? It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It's just that I'm not coming back until I'm ready."
So, clearly Rose's return is nowhere near a certainty and that makes it all the more vital that the Bulls get a deal done.
Rumors have surfaced of late that the team was potentially seeking a deal for Toronto Raptors center Andrea Bargnani, with the intention of sending Carlos Boozer to Toronto, per Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
While that move would make sense from a financial standpoint—with the Bulls unloading Boozer's contract—the team would take a huge hit in the defense and rebounding departments, as Bargnani would be a downgrade in both areas.
Source says the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls are among the teams pursuing Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 10, 2013
The Bulls have had a great season on the defensive end, but their biggest problem remains scoring. For the season, Chicago is No. 27 in the NBA in points per game (93.1), so an obvious upgrade is needed there.
Rose would definitely give this team a huge boost on the offensive end of the floor, but again, he may not return at all this season and that would leave the Bulls flat without a much-needed scoring punch.
Redick would be a nice addition to the Bulls' ailing offensive game.
The Duke product is in the midst of his best season in the NBA. Redick is averaging 15.3 points per game, but has also made an all-around impact in Orlando with 4.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds per contest.
If the Bulls could land Redick, he would be a great fit to come off the bench. The 28-year-old is a threat from anywhere on the floor and is shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc (nearly 46 percent from the field overall).
By comparison, the Bulls as a team are shooting 34 percent from long range and nearly 44 percent from the field, both good enough for No. 24 in the NBA.
However, if the Magic guard is not in the cards for Chicago, it would be wise to explore other options to help bolster its roster, as waiting for Rose is a risky proposition at best.
Even if Rose is unable to come back this season, the Bulls can't simply allow this season to pass in what will be a mostly wasted year. With a nice addition on offense, there's no question this team could compete in the NBA playoffs because of the sensational defense it plays.
Whatever move they can make, the Bulls need to pull the trigger in order to give themselves a better chance at success come playoff time—with or without Rose.
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