In fact, Barkley took the praise of Rose even farther.
"I think Derrick has surpassed Deron Williams as the best point guard in the NBA, and I think right now he has to be the front-runner for MVP," Barkley said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "He's been fantastic, and I think when you look at the Eastern Conference, and I've said it all along, the Chicago Bulls to me are the most dangerous team if they get everybody healthy."
The Bulls entered Tuesday with a 31-14 record, good for third in the East.
"Derrick Rose to me has been a tremendous leader," Barkley said. "He's missed his second and third best players the majority of the season, and they have the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. That's pretty remarkable.
"And the coach [Tom Thibodeau] has done a fantastic job too, he's probably the front-runner for coach of the year. They play hard every night. I just hope they don't wear Derrick Rose down."