Rose a game-time decision vs. Celtics

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Rose a game-time decision vs. Celtics

Though he was a partial participant in Thursday mornings Bulls shootaround, its unlikely that Derrick Rose, still suffering from lower back spasms, plays in the evenings game against Boston. Rose shot free throws and watched his teammates prepare for the visiting Celtics, who beat the Bulls, without Rose, Sunday.

Im getting better every day, taking it day by day. Just trying to stay positive, like I always say, said Rose. His back specialist said that its just getting better. Its the same thing. Hopefully get this behind me, so I wont have to talk about it anymore.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said the organization would continue with its cautious approach to Roses recovery.

Well, hes got to be cleared by the medical staff first and then hes got to be comfortable that he feels good enough to go, he said. Its a compilation of things. Each day hes gotten better, so we just want to be patient.

Rose admitted that hes growing weary of answering questions about the injury, repeating the word tired three times in one response. The reigning league MVP, who acknowledged that he didnt do any running during shootaround, also stated some criteria for his eventual return to the court, as far as his pain threshold.

I dont know yet, game-time decision, he said about his status for Thursdays game. Rose will receive treatment again right now, treatment again when I get to the gym tonight and go out there, and warm up.

Rose will return when he doesnt feel any pain. I know that its going to be sore a little bit, but I know that I dont want to deal with it during the game, where it gets tight and it gets irritating. I think Im going to come back when Im ready, Rose went on to explain. The back is totally different. An ankle, you can kind of play through that. as a guard, youre used to twisting your ankle, but with your back -- this is my second time dealing with this -- its quite different.

Its killing me right now. Definitely missing these games, especially big games, going against Boston and all the other teams I didnt get a chance to play against this year. Its definitely hurting, but just trying to stay focused, keep my head right and try to get better.

Rose also humorously revealed the details of his visit to the chiropractor.

I cant explain all the things that hes doing, but I know that its a lot of stretching. I know that its a weird table I lay on and I know I stay there for about an hour, he said. When I was at Simeon, I think before we went downstate, we had a week off, so I didnt do anything for about a week. I didnt go to a doctor or anything and I came back healthy.

While Rose said its too far away to decide whether or not hell play in the Feb. 26 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando, for which he was voted an Eastern Conference starter and would join teammate Luol Deng and the Bulls coaching staff, he put a positive spin on his situation.

I take it as a blessing, where I guess God wanted me to get some rest, he said. Thats how Im looking at it.

Carmelo Anthony: 'I'm glad (Derrick Rose) is on my team'

Carmelo Anthony: 'I'm glad (Derrick Rose) is on my team'

by Jonathan Joffe

Derrick Rose has a new fan now that he's in New York: Carmelo Anthony.

Rose's new teammate and fellow multi-time all-star is a happy to be teaming up with the former Bull.

In addition to complimenting Rose's game, Anthony applauded the Knicks' front office for making moves that allow the team to be competitive in the upcoming season.

It was once thought that Melo and D-Rose could sport the same uniform aside from Olympic competitions. While it won't be in Chicago, the two will be making that thought a reality in New York.

Report: Pau Gasol tells Bulls he has declined option, becoming a free agent

Report: Pau Gasol tells Bulls he has declined option, becoming a free agent

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but Pau Gasol is hitting the market.

Gasol told the Bulls that he has declined his option for the 2016-17 season and will become a free agent, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

The 35-year-old signed a three-year, $22.3 million deal with the Bulls in the summer of 2014.

In two seasons with the Bulls, he averaged 17.6 points per game and 11.4 rebounds and made an All-Star appearance.

Bulls: NBA Validation for Valentine came in the United Center last season

Bulls: NBA Validation for Valentine came in the United Center last season

Denzel Valentine’s annual growth had long been noticed by NBA executives but perhaps fittingly, it was a game in Chicago that served as the reinforcement he needed to know the NBA was in his sights.

On a national stage and on the United Center floor last November, Valentine put up one of the best stat lines in college basketball, leading Michigan State to a comeback 79-73 win over Kansas, a team ranked No. 4 in the nation at the time.

If he had any doubts about his future, a 29-point, 12-rebound and 12-assist performance served as the confirmation he was on an upward trajectory.

“I knew I could play in the NBA when I started my career at Michigan State,” Valentine said to CSNChicago.com after his introductory news conference. “Playing against guys like (Victor) Oladipo, (Cody) Zeller and those guys, I knew I could play in the NBA but I didn’t know I would be a first round, 14th pick. But I realized that this year after my triple double against Kansas.

“I realized I could be the best player in the country. It was very important because I got off to a good start and it helped me throughout the year.”

That night, the Bulls were rolling right along at 7-3, headed out West for a four-game trip and looking every bit like a team that would be in the thick of Eastern Conference contention. The likelihood of a marriage between a player billed as a mid-lottery pick and the Bulls seemed improbable if not damn near impossible.

But the Bulls hit several roadblocks and landed in the draft lottery, while Valentine put together one of the more complete statistical seasons in recent memory, averaging nearly 20 points and almost eight rebounds and eight assists.

Valentine hit a roadblock of his own with draft preparation, as word about prospective teams red-flagging his left knee began to trickle out, raising questions about his long-term availability.

At least one team in the lottery definitively passed on Valentine because of fears surrounding his knee, which was surgically worked on in high school and followed by a minor procedure in December, causing him to miss four games.

“It did surprise me because I’m healthy now,” Valentine said. “I only missed four games. I can control what I can control and let the chips fall that it may. I was a little surprised, a little angry that people were texting me asking if I were hurt. And I was like ‘what?’ But at the same time, I could control what I could control and I’m happy to be here.”

Missing a few practices here and there seemed to be the biggest side effect for Valentine through the season, as accolades followed nonetheless with him winning National Player of the Year over Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, who went sixth in last Thursday’s draft.

“He’s gonna go out there and fight,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s been in so many high-pressure games at Michigan State. For a guy that played in Final Fours, made big play after big play. He’s been a part of winning cultures since high school. That’s huge, great experience for Denzel. If he can suit up, he can play.”

The awards are certainly not a precursor for pro success, as more than a few collegiate POY’s have wound up as professional carcasses in an unforgiving game.

But the qualities Valentine was noted for in college could translate to the NBA, and from the sounds of things he’ll get every opportunity with the Bulls to show off his versatility.

He’ll be thrown into the shallow end of the pool, so to speak, in Summer League next month. New acquisition Jerian Grant (via the Derrick Rose trade), Cristiano Felicio, Bobby Portis and Spencer Dinwiddie (acquired for Cameron Bairstow) will also join Valentine in Las Vegas.

“He's a basketball player,” Hoiberg said. “That's the big thing I got from talking to coach (Tom) Izzo, is you can play him all over the court. He's a facilitator. He's an excellent positional rebounder. He can bust out with the ball. And he gives you the opportunity to play in so many ways.”

Valentine wasn’t given a definitive position, and perhaps there’s no natural one over the other. But having the ability to be a floor-spreading point guard with Jimmy Butler handling or even a small-ball power forward leaves Hoiberg and the Bulls plenty of options.

“And I think how we want to play with our young core, how Fred we wants to play, we think it's a perfect fit in regards to his skill level and his basketball IQ and what he brings to the floor,” Bulls GM Gar Forman said.