Gar Forman may have just been coy when discussing what changes the Bulls need to make to their roster in coming months. He didn't confirm or deny the team would make any offseason moves to offset the loss of Derrick Rose, but it's obvious the front office may have no choice.
The team as currently constructed was built around the athletic version of their all-star. But if Rose is out for 12 months as Dr. Brian Cole – the orthopedic surgeon who repaired his torn ACL and also fixed a very minor MCL tear in the same knee – predicts he could be, that would put his return at sometime around late April, early May.
And that's just talking about him competing in an NBA game. Much more time will have to pass before he can go back to being 'D. Rose,' the player that Chicagoans have grown quite fond of and believe can deliver a seventh NBA championship to this city.
Initially, Rose will not be as explosive as he once was, and once he does return, he'll have to transition into more of a “pure” point guard role, something many of his critics feel he's incapable of being after watching him dominate the last few years in the NBA using his explosiveness and ultra-athletic ability.
So taking all of this into consideration, should the Bulls still construct a team that's built around an offensive talent at the point when said talent will be anything but until at least the 2013-2014 season?
If they do stand pat, is the organization comfortable with being a middle-of-the-road team for an entire season or, worse, writing off next year as a loss? Does the drive for a seventh championship take a backseat for a season or does the team make the necessary adjustments to remain on the path for a title even with Derrick Rose out?
The success the 2011-2012 Bulls saw during the 66-game schedule most likely won't be duplicated in a full, 82-game schedule season, especially not without a capable point guard to lead the show. It's one thing to play games with the mindset that your superstar will be back at some point, it's another thing entirely to know he won't be back for quite some time.
Short-term decisions may not be ideal to the Bulls organization and given their salary cap concerns, may not seem realistic on the surface. But whether or not the team wants to admit so publicly, some changes have to be made.