With only 11 players on the Berto Center practice court, it's no secret the Bulls are currently short-handed. Although Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau refused to comment on speculation that veteran shooting guard Rip Hamilton, waived Friday by the Pistons, some of his players cautiously voiced their opinions about the potential acquisition.
"Rip is a winner," Derrick Rose said Friday, after the first practice of the season. "I can't say anything bad about him. He's got a championship. It's great. He knows the game, he came from winning programs.
"If he comes along, I know we'd be happy to have him," the league MVP continued. "I'm fine with the team that I have. I don't know what's going on right now, with who might be coming in or whatever, but with the team that I had, I thought that we were good."
Chimed in Joakim Noah: "Rip's a hell of a player, but as a player, those aren't things that we can control. We don't really know what Pax and Gar, and the front office are doing. I have confidence in those guys doing the right thing, so for us, the only thing we can do is work hard."
Noah, however, did provide some insight on the mysterious saga of last year's starter at shooting guard, Keith Bogans.
"There's definitely a couple players that should be coming back," said the center. "Keith will probably be coming back -- I mean, I hope.
"I don't know what the situation is, but all we can do is control what we can control as players."
Added Rose on Friday: "Keith, he's always been a good vet to me.
"I don't know what's going on," he went on to say. "Coach didn't talk about it, so I really didn't think anything of it."
Thibodeau has been a consistently passionate advocate of Bogans' -- from when he was a surprise starter at the outset of last season, through fans and media alike maligning him for his typically light-scoring performances, all the way to when he first addressed reporters last week at the Berto Center -- so it wouldn't be a shock if Noah's prediction came true, with the caveat that it would have to work financially for both parties and Bogans would need to be willing to possibly accept a lesser role.
However, whether Hamilton, Bogans -- or both -- don Bulls uniforms this season, the team's star expressed strong feelings about what kind of player he'd like to see in Chicago.
"A winner. Someone that has a great attitude, that knows how to win basketball games and works their tail off. That's all we need on this team, someone that really knows how to win games and knows their role," said Rose. "Definitely, that a player with championship experience would be great. A winner is a winner. It comes from college, high school, grammar school, whatever. If you know how to win, we need you."
"It's not a skill, just a winner. Give me a winner. We've got winners on our team, just added Jimmy Butler -- he knows how to win games -- we just need winners on this team," he continued.
"With the guys that we have, the guys that we just added, like Jimmy and everyone else, we're a great team. We don't know who else is coming, but we know that whoever we have -- I know the front office has been doing a great job of bringing in good people with attitude that just want to win basketball games."