Executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson doubts his team will make a significant move at the trade deadline and said the return of former MVP Derrick Rose figures to be their big move.
"We're up against what's called a hard cap," Paxson said Friday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "In order for us to do something we're not in a position to take on any real salary so we're kind of limited in what we can do. I think our team has grown -- it's not always pretty, let's face it; we've had some ugly games this year and that's kind of who we are right now. But we do grind it out and play hard.
"You're always on the lookout to do certain things, but I think our move hopefully will be bringing Derrick back into the fold."
Rose injured his knee on April 28 in the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers and had surgery on May 12. He was expected to be out eight to 12 months, according to team physician Brian Cole.
While many believe Rose will return sometime after the All-Star break, Paxson said the timetable will be determined by Rose himself.
"We don't have the defined plan yet because Derrick is still progressing," Paxson said. "The way he feels and what his body tells him is going to dictate how we do things. But I can tell you one thing -- and this is for certain -- he's going to have to have a high volume of practices and contact and where he's comfortable on the floor doing things that he used to do naturally. And that takes some time and he's just starting that process now.
"We can't sit here today and say he's going to be back in three weeks or after the All-Star break. Those things are a hope, but his body is going to tell us and then when we get to that point that's when we're going to have to sit down and determine, after we talk to our doctors and everything, then determine our gameplan of minutes and how best to bring him back."
Rose took "the next step" in his rehab, according to coach Tom Thibodeau by taking more contact in practice this week, but Paxson said the Bulls will remain patient and not rush their franchise player back before he's ready.
"We don't want to bring him back and then have a setback because he wasn't totally ready," Paxson said. "We want this to be a progression where he comes back, he starts to play and every week he gets better and feels better."