BY NEAL MALONE
The Bulls shocked everyone when they nearly disposed of the heavily-favored Boston Celtics in an epic first round series last year. Derrick Rose fulfilled his star potential, practically taking over a few of those playoff games on the offensive end.
Fast forward to this year’s first round matchup with the Cavaliers and no one is expecting the Bulls to match what they did against the Celtics. While the Cavs are likely to trample the Bulls, the series isn’t a complete waste of time for Vinny Del Negro’s men.
In fact, this series presents the Bulls with as good of a 2010 free agent recruiting opportunity as any.
Take a guy like Chris Bosh, who is sitting at home after missing the playoffs, wondering what his next move should be. If he sees Derrick Rose turn in a few jaw-dropping performances, it could very easily sway him in Chicago’s direction.
Sure, a win or two against the Cavs could show the 2010 free agent class that the Bulls are close to success, perhaps only missing one piece of the puzzle.
But, for me, it’s all about Derrick Rose. Every top shooting guard and big man dreams of having a point guard like Rose. He is the type of player you win championships with. Whether it’s Bosh, Joe Johnson, Dwayne Wade or anyone else, their selling point could very well be Rose.
Everyone in Chicago knows what this guy is capable of…now it’s time for the rest of the league to see him take over a game in a playoff setting.
With the recent news of a tiff between coach Vinny Del Negro and GM John Paxson, the Bulls are desperately seeking a way to present themselves as an attractive destination for a big-time free agent.
I think it’s safe to say that a solid team performance against LeBron and the #1-seeded Cavs would be a start. But the surefire way to court a free agent this playoff season would be some good publicity…Derrick Rose-style.
It’s time to show D. Wade, King James, Joe Johnson, and Chris Bosh what kind of point guard they could be sharing the court with next season.