In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Derrick Rose revealed why he was aggressive in the pursuit for then-free agent big man Pau Gasol: he knows the two were compatible on the floor.
Looking back, it’s clear Rose wasn’t all that interested in teaming with Anthony, who chose to return to the New York Knicks. Rose was much more aggressive in the Bulls’ pursuit of free agent Pau Gasol, not only asking for his phone number, but giving a hard sell to the big man on joining the Bulls.
So why Gasol and not Anthony?
“[Gasol is] someone that I knew I could play with,’’ Rose said. “You think about Pau, him now being in the East, what he’ll be able to achieve with the way we play, the way we dump the ball in the post a lot. It could be great.’’
Rose is correct–though Carmelo Anthony would also be a great fit alongside Rose. At this point in his career, Pau Gasol’s niche is offense–he’ll score when you dump it down on the block and, most importantly, create for others in a manner similar to what Joakim Noah is capable of. Gasol’s addition will allow Tom Thibodeau’s Bulls to, hopefully, run a more fluent offense than what we’ve seen in the past.
Its going to be interesting seeing how all of these pieces fit together for the Chicago Bulls. If Rose is healthy and Gasol’s health improves from where it stood in the previous season, the Bulls could be in the NBA Finals for the first time since Michael Jordan last played.