Current New York Knicks free agent Carmelo Anthony visited the Chicago Bulls at the United Center arena midweek for the Bulls’ best free agency pitch. Amid conflicting reports that starting point guard Derrick Rose helped in recruiting, a report was later released definitively stating that Rose had no involvement in Chicago’s efforts. Center Joakim Noah and forward Taj Gibson reportedly were on hand to welcome Anthony to the arena and Bulls headquarters. Rose had already gone on record and stated that he wouldn’t aid Chicago in their efforts to land a marquee free agent this summer. But considering that Rose is a huge part of the franchise, should the franchise player be assigned the task of helping the front office land stars? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate the question.
Riley: If you’re Derrick Rose and you’re committed to winning a title then why wouldn’t you help your franchise land talent through whatever means necessary? How much would it hurt for a potential free agent to hear a few choice words from a former MVP and the face of the team’s franchise? For Rose, a player who’s been injured for much of the last two seasons, just reassuring any free agent whether it’s Anthony or Pau Gasol or LeBron James from his own mouth that he is healthy could be useful to the Bulls’ chances of landing a marquee talent this summer. His reluctance to get involved in Chicago’s attempts to land the team some higher caliber talent could potentially set the franchise back if Rose retains his stance.
Green: Rose’s only two jobs right now are to get as healthy as possible and prepare for the upcoming season. Nowhere in his job description is it outlined for him to pitch potential free agents and sit in on meetings to prove to whomever that he’s healthy and committed. Rose deserves the right to help or not help but his main focus right now should be preparing for the 2014-2105 season and ensuring that he’ll be healthy for the duration of the campaign. Rather than being ridiculed for not wanting to participate in free agency talks, we should be saluting Rose for his focus on trying to return to his MVP form.
Riley: It isn’t like the Bulls brass is asking Rose to cut his training and rehab activities short to come help pitch free agents. It only makes sense for Rose to help the team court free agents because any player that winds up signing with Chicago is going to do so with the lofty expectation of playing with the team’s best player. So if Rose has to show free agents that he’s healthy then that’s what he has to do. The goal in the NBA is for a team to acquire enough talent to win a title, not just rehabbing and reworking yourself back into shape after you missed the last two seasons. Multitasking is definitely a skill that most professional athletes have. And perhaps part of the reasons why Rose has found himself in the trainer’s room the last two years has been from trying to do too much. Well, if he aided his team in recruiting other players he might not have to worry about putting too much of the load on his shoulders.
Green: It would be nice as a free agent to walk into a business meeting with a potential suitor and see the team’s best player sitting idle in the corner waiting to give his input but it’s not necessary. In the age of social media, cell phones and summer camps and trainings, it’s easier for players to communicate now than it ever has. You don’t think Rose and a guy like Anthony have already talked about the possibility of teaming up together? Those two players have been on the same All Star team for the last few years and played on the same Olympic team for the last few summers so the discussions have probably already occurred, similar to how the Big Three forged a pact at Olympic team practices years ago. Whether it’s Anthony signing in Chicago or whoever it may or may not be, if someone really wanted to reach out to Rose to find out about his health or his opinions on the team then they don’t need him sitting in on meetings to find out.