Tom Thibodeau and Gar Forman have some difficult decisions to make in the coming months concerning the current Bulls roster.
Gar Forman wasn't asked very many questions during Tuesday's press conference concerning Derrick Rose's ACL surgery, but when they were thrown his way, most revolved around the status of the roster and what will be done to shore things up until Rose makes a full recovery.
Both Forman (and Tom Thibodeau) said Rose's injury has taken precedence over other matters involving the team in the short term. Forman confirmed the Bulls will do everything possible to remain competitive until Rose returns but said the team won't make any hasty decisions concerning the roster with Rose being out.
“We're hopeful at some point that [Rose] will be back [next season],” said Forman when asked if the Bulls will plan around Rose playing durng the 2012-2013 season after Dr. Brian Cole set the expectatons of his return at 8-12 months.
“I'm not sure we'll make plans as if he will be, but we're optimistic he will be at some point.
“We've obviously spent a lot of time putting this team together and in putting this team together, everything was looking at the big picture, long term. I think it's our job to stay focused on that and continue to look at what we feel is a long window of opportunity to have success and that's how we'll approach it. Have we taken a hit in the short term? Without question. But will we make decisions based on the short term? We won't. All of our decisions will continue to be based long-term and obviously a big part of that is Derrick who we feel is going to be a special player for us over the next 10 or 15 years.”
The Bulls obviously will need to shore up their point guard issues until Rose comes back, but Forman's insistence that stop-gap measures won't be taken – at least at this point – came off somewhat as an unofficial vote of confidence in CJ Watson.
In the minds of many Bulls fans, Watson was the primary reason Chicago was eliminated in the first round. He had a terrible series against Philadelphia as he shot just 24 percent from the field and made what many considered a bone-headed decision to pass the ball off to Omer Asik late in Game 6, ultimately costing the Bulls the game and eliminating them from the postseason.
Of course Forman was diplomatic in his approach and, in keeping consistent with the front office's modus operandi, didn't tip his hand. But if what he says holds true, much to the chagrin of Bulls fans, CJ Watson could be back in uniform and running the show to start the season next year.