Unfair matchup? Rose faces his fans in pick-up game

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Unfair matchup? Rose faces his fans in pick-up game

After promoting his new shoe at the adidas store on Michigan Ave. and greeting several hundred adoring fans outside the State St. Footlocker, Bulls All-Star point guard Derrick Rose took to the court--playing in the aforementioned sneaker, of course.

With the start of the NBA season still in doubt, Rose had to find a way to stay busy and took part in pickup games with some of his biggest fans.

Rapper Common, a former Bulls ballboy himself, participated in three-on-three games with kids from throughout the region at the James Jordan Boys and Girls Club on the West Side--around the corner from the United Center, where Rose would normally be playing this time of year--exuded tremendous pride in being able to take the court with his fellow South Side product.

"It's a good feeling because this dude, he's special, man. He's real special and the way he carries himself is ultimate. He's very special and just to be able to see somebody that comes from the South Side, of humble beginnings, that represents Chicago well, that represents just manhood well and is a killer on the court, but a good spirit, that's what we're about," said Common. "That's what Chicago is about and I think Derrick Rose represents Chicago and his family and himself in the best way possible."

Added Rose's brother, Reggie, on his younger sibling's maturation: "The way he's grown, grown not only into a man, but he's understanding a lot now. Even with his financial stuff, he used to call me and say, 'Hey, Reggie, how much money is going to be here?' I'd say, 'Well, Derrick, if you go online, your portfolio is right there.' So, now he's stepping up and trying to be more of a man and a professional."

Even dealing with the media, the once-reticent 23-year-old has somewhat shed his shell to display more of himself as a well-rounded person, instead of just a highlight machine with little to say, except regarding the game itself.

"It was more him being comfortable with himself and also him learning how to gain relationships with reporters," said Reggie Rose. "He might see a guy he's comfortable with, but I think now, when you say, 'Hey, Derrick, what's up' and all that, he knows, so he gets more comfortable with you and he's more open."

While fans shouldn't anticipate Rose sitting in on current NBA labor negotiations, the perception that the shy kid with the loud game won't speak up isn't quite so accurate these days.

"I've been so busy, where I haven't had time to go into the news or anything like that, but my agents, Arn Tellem and B.J. Armstrong have been doing a great job with keeping me up with the updates and I'm supposed to be talking to 'D-Fish' in a couple days or Paul Pierce," said Rose.

"The biggest thing is you just want to get back out there and play. The lockout going to hurt us, but I think it's going to hurt basketball, period."

Bulls Talk Podcast: Gar Forman defends Jimmy Butler trade

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AP

Bulls Talk Podcast: Gar Forman defends Jimmy Butler trade

On the latest Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Schanowski, Will Perdue and Vincent Goodwill recap the Bulls' busy NBA Draft and the decision to trade Jimmy Butler to Minnesota. 

Bulls general manager Gar Forman joins the panel for an exclusive interview. He breaks down why the organization decided to move the three-time All-Star. 

Click here to Bulls Talk Podcast.

Nikola Mirotic and why the Bulls traded their second-round pick

Nikola Mirotic and why the Bulls traded their second-round pick

The Bulls entered rebuild mode on Thursday night after they dealt Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. They acquired a pair of guards in Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn, and the No. 7 pick which they used to select Arizona power forward Lauri Markkanen.

But the Bulls opted not to continue adding youth to their roster when they sold their second-round pick, No. 38 overall, to the Golden State Warriors. That pick was Oregon power forward Jordan Bell, who many considered a late first-round prospect.

The move was perplexing for a team that hours earlier had traded away its franchise player to start a youth movement. But VP John Paxson said after the draft that the decision to move the pick was based on team depth, hinting at a significant move the Bulls will make in free agency.

"We had some wings on our board that we had targeted that were the only way we were going to keep that (No. 38) pick, and they went before us. And drafting Lauri (Markkanen), and the fact that we have, Niko’s a restricted free agent we intend to bring back, Bobby Portis, we didn’t want to add another big and that’s really all that was left on our board."

Both Paxson and general manager Gar Forman have said since the season ended that Mirotic, who will become a restricted free agent on July 1, is part of their future plans. The Bulls will be able to match any contract that another team offers Mirotic, and they intend to keep the 26-year-old in Chicago. After Butler's departure, Mirotic is now the longest tenured member of the Bulls. He's been with the team for three seasons.

The wings Paxson may have been referring to include Miami's Devon Reed (32nd overall to Phoenix), Kansas State's Wesley Iwundu (33rd overall to Orlando) or SMU's Semi Ojeleye (Boston, 37th overall). Point guards Juwan Evans (Oklahoma State) and Sterling Brown (SMU) were still on the board and potential options, but the Bulls were set on looking for wing help after receiving point guard Kris Dunn and shooting guard Zach LaVine in the Butler trade.

The Bulls frontcourt depth looks filled, as Cristiano Felicio is expected to return behind Brook Lopez. Mirotic, Portis, Markkanen and Joffrey Lauvergne should make up the power forward depth chart. Opting against using the 38th pick, which Golden State bought for a whopping $3.5 million, also leaves the Bulls with room to add a 13th player in the fall.

"It keeps us at 12 roster spots and gives us real flexibility for our roster," Paxson said. "So we didn’t just want to use up a roster spot on a player that we probably wouldn’t have kept."