New York Post reporter Marc Berman confirmed that the feelings were mutual. The Bulls offered the Chicago native a contract, which he expressed interest in.
However, that offer was eclipsed by the New York Knicks, who signed Rose to a three-year, $43 million deal earlier this month, per ESPN. Rose’s $14.3 million annual salary is the largest for the former 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player in the past five years.
“Bulls made an offer and Derrick had interest coming home but Knicks blew it away, per source,” Berman reported via Twitter on Wednesday after the announcement of Rose’s signing.
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Thibodeau Pivotal in Striking Rose Deal
After bouncing around the NBA on one- and two-year, veteran minimum deals since he left Chicago, Rose has found a new home in New York where his loyalty lies with coach Tom Thibodeau, who likely played a pivotal role in Rose hitting big on his contract as a backup point guard.
“Derrick’s arrival last season played a major role in our team’s success and the culture we instilled,” Knicks president Leon Rose said in a statement. “He continues to be a great player and teammate and is an extension of Coach (Tom) Thibodeau on the court. We look forward to him being a key piece of our team moving forward.”
Rose proved his worth last season as the 32-year-old guard averaged 14.9 points and 4.2 assists per game in 35 games with New York. He played a crucial role on both sides of the floor, helping the Knicks secure the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs — the franchise’s first postseason appearance since 2013.
Chicago fans are left to wonder what kind the price tag was attached to the Bulls’ offer. Ex-Los Angeles Lakers point guard Alex Caruso agreed to a four-year, $37 million deal with only $3 million guaranteed in the final year.
He’ll serve as backup to Lonzo Ball, who inked a four-year, $80 million deal this season as one of the Bulls’ biggest free agency adds this offseason.
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Rose a ‘Secondary Target’ to Bulls
Around the time NBA analyst Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a WojBomb on Chicago with rumors of Rose’s interest, NBC Sports K.C. Johnson tempered the flames.
Johnson called Rose a “secondary target” in the point guard market. However, he did say that there was plenty of internal consideration on Rose’s fit with the Bulls.
“Derrick Rose can’t be ruled out. In fact, internal conversations on the viability and fit of the former Bull and former most valuable player have occurred, just as they have with all candidates,” Johnson wrote.
Chicago and New York are both vying to make a mark in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They’ll meet four times in the upcoming season, which will be vital for both franchises that upgraded their rosters this summer.
Rose’s contributions will be under a microscope in those matchups.