Updated 10:29 PM EST, Wed, Jan 20, 2021

2014 Chicago Bulls Season News: Rumors, Trades, and Roster Updates

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Few teams' success hinges on a single player more than Chicago's does with Derrick Rose.

General Manager Gar Forman balked on recruiting LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony--both who would have been security blankets for the oft-injured point guard--but solidified one of the league's premier front courts by signing Lakers' scapegoat Pau Gasol.

Gasol and starting center Joakim Noah will lead the Bulls to a seventh consecutive playoff appearance. Anything beyond that depends on Rose's health.

Since signing a five-year, $94.8 million contract extension in December 2011, Rose has missed all but 49 regular season games and Chicago hasn't made it past the Eastern Conference semifinals. They rode Noah's career-high 12.6 PPG and 11.3 APG to a first-round meeting with the upstart Washington Wizards last season where John Wall's club subsequently ran the Bulls out of the United Center in five games.

Jimmy Butler shouldered Rose's load of the scoring. Unfortunately, injuries limited him to 67 appearances and 28 percent shooting from three-point land. That's when Chicago got elevated play from small forward Mike Dunleavy.

When Dunleavy came on board it was with the intent to use him sparingly, more as a shooter coming off the bench rather than a starter. Rose's injury changed that. Following Luol Deng's trade, Dunleavy trailed only Butler and Noah in minutes per game. He started in 61 games, 11 more than his three previous season combined.

Now, the Bulls are trying to flip Dunleavy to Minnesota.

Per an ESPN report, Forman has inquired into Timberwolves' swingman Kevin Martin. In return, he would send Dunleavy, backup shooting guard Tony Snell, and a 2015 draft pick. The trade would be a wash in 2014-15 but saves about $3 million come next summer. Martin not only moves Butler to a bench role, but elevates rookie Doug McDermott to starting small forward.

If the Martin-Dunleavy trade doesn't pan out, Chicago signed former Orlando Magic guard E'Twaun Moore as a consolation. Moore averaged 6.4 PPG and 1.7 RPG while shooting 43 percent from the field. The east Chicago native fills in as a third-stringer behind Butler and McDermott.

The roster is set, aside from adding a big man and monitoring if--and when--Ray Allen plays. Allen is linked to every team ranging from Cleveland to San Antonio. The only way Foreman recruits the 10-time All-Star is in selling him on extended playing time.

Allen would play second and third-fiddle to shooting guards on other title contending teams. The Clippers have J.J. Redick, Cleveland has Dion Walters, and San Antonio needs to decide between Danny Green and Manu Ginobili. Allen's experience alone makes him a starter under head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Either way, Chicago isn't short on scorers. Especially with Taj Gibson coming off the bench. The difference between making the postseason and advancing to their first NBA final since Michael Jordan ran the offense lies in their All-Star point guard.

Rose struggled through the summer's FIBA World Cup averaging 4.8 points on 25.4 percent shooting from the field. He didn't even score in Team USA's final with Serbia. Regardless, the former NBA MVP didn't' suffer any significant setbacks. That alone is reason to place Chicago among the NBA's elite.

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