With training camp almost here, Nick Friedell previews every player on the Bulls roster.
Age: 24 | Pos.: G | Salary: $17,632,688
Role for Bulls in 2013-14: The star. Bulls fans have been waiting to see Rose on the floor for over a year -- now it's time to see how he looks. Rose will be expected to lead the Bulls offensively, but it is unclear how much he will be able to undertake early given that he hasn't played in so long.
Obviously, the Bulls are going to go out of their way to make sure their franchise star feels comfortable heading into the year, but it will be up to Rose to be open with his coaches and Bulls executives as to how his knee is feeling day to day.
What happened this summer?: Rose continues to spend time in the gym with his longtime trainer Rob McClanaghan as he gets his body in order for the grind of another NBA season. He has done two promotional tours for adidas, one in which he traveled through Europe and another in which he is traveling through Asia. During a stop on the first tour, the former MVP made headlines by telling CNN that he still feels as if he is the best player in the NBA. That confidence bodes well for the soon-to-be 25-year-old moving forward.
What does the future hold?: That's what everybody is waiting to find out. If Rose can return to the form he had before his injury then all the criticism he took last year will be a thing of the past. If he struggles early to find his game, many fans will wonder if he will ever get back to the level he was at before he hurt his knee. It was a personal decision not to play last season for Rose, but it seems as if a portion of the fan base has stopped giving him the benefit of the doubt. His play is the only thing that can win back that group's trust again.
Bottom line: Rose controls his own future -- and that of the Bulls. If he plays well, almost all fans will cheer for him again and he will lead his team back to prominence. If not, Rose's reputation will continue to be questioned by people who believe he should have come back at some point last year to take some of the rust off.