Lost in all of the post-surgical update concerning Derrick Rose’s repaired left knee was general manager Gar Foreman announcing that the team would pick up Coach Tom Thibodeau’s extension for the 2012-13 season and will be in talks of an extension during the offseason.
“We value Tom greatly,” said Foreman. “We value what he brings to the organization, what he’s brought to the team and we think he’s one of the finest coaches in the league. We’re hopeful that he’ll be our coach long term.”
Thibodeau stated that he’s not worried about an extension as it will take care of itself and his concern was Rose’s prognosis and evaluating this past season where they fell to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.
“In the end, there will be one team that’s satisfied,” Thibodeau said. “As I said at the end of the season, I was disappointed in our loss but not in our team. Our team gave everything they had and that’s all you can ask of your team. We fell short and we have to look forward to the challenge next year.
“You don’t want to look backwards. You want to learn and move forward. I think going into the playoffs, the two things you have to have – one, you have to be playing well and two, you have to have your health, those things are critical. We fell short but we had a number of guys that were injured. I thought our bench was terrific all year long. I think our team will be fine.”
Aside from Rose missing a majority of next season, the Bulls could also be without Luol Deng at the start of the season as the All-Star small forward plans to play for Great Britain’s national team this summer in the Olympic Games in London, which would delay surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist.
“I think it’s important to just go step by step with it, to meet with him and come up with a plan that makes the most sense and we’ll do that,” said Thibodeau.
The Bulls will also have some decisions to make on key components as C.J. Watson, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer all have team options for next season and Omer Asik is a restricted free agent who the plans plan to match any offer for.
Foreman stated during Tuesday’s press conference that in the short term, the team would take a hit by not having Rose ready to start next season, but also said that any move made will be with the long term in mind.
“The most important thing for us right now is [Rose’s] health, so we want him to focus on that and as we said during the season when it happened, it’s a new challenge for us and we’ll get through it. We want him to prioritize his health right now and when he’s ready to come back, he comes back but there will be no pressure on him to come back soon. When he’s ready, he’s ready and we’ll move forward from there.
“There’s a process that you have to go through. We’ll be in evaluation right now, then we have the draft coming up, so that will be one opportunity to add [depth] and there will be free agency after that and there’s summer league and there’s a lot of different avenues to go down. The core of the team will be the same and we feel real good about that.”
Thibodeau said he wanted to be around once the season ended to be able to monitor Rose’s progress and eventually he would take a “week or so” to decompress and get right back to his daily tasks with the team.