by Will Overton
In a truly sad turn of events the Chicago Bulls have watched their star point guard Derrick Rose go down with another torn meniscus in his knee. Rose played just 10 games combined the two seasons prior to this one and just when you started to forget about that this happens and Rose is going back under the knife.
We don’t know yet that Rose’s season is over and we won’t know until he goes in for surgery. The odds are definitely not in his favor though and while fantasy owners shouldn’t drop Rose just yet, they shouldn’t be holding their breath either.
We know this is a blow to fantasy owners, but it’s a blow to the Bulls even more so. We are going to take a look at what the impact on the Bulls is going to be speaking from a fantasy perspective. We’ll look at the guys who will be taking over Rose’s spot as well as other effects coming from this injury.
At the point the Bulls are likely going to turn to a time share between Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Brooks. In the past it has been Hinrich who has stepped up in Rose’s absence as the starter, but last night it was Brooks getting the first nod as starter. Ultimately though I’m not sure it matters which one starts the game as they are likely to share minutes pretty evenly unless one of them is having a particularly hot night.
Hinrich is probably the safest option of the two for the Bulls and also the most natural point guard. Hinrich has started 143 games the last three seasons for the Bulls with Rose shelved and when he’s starting he’s usually good for 4 – 5 assists per game. Just by comfort level and experience with the team and the offense Hinrich may start, but the upside is limited.
Meanwhile, Hinrich may be the best option for the Bulls, but Brooks is the best option for the fantasy teams. Brooks isn’t your traditional point guard, he’d just as soon shoot the ball then pass it, but he can be quite good at shooting the ball. Brooks has hit 43% of his three-pointers so far this season and can fill it up when he gets hot.
What works for Brooks here is that the Bulls are built with guys who are good at distributing the ball. Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol are both good at finding the open man on the three point line and kicking it out from the inside. The offense should be running through them even more than ever now.
The Bulls also have Jimmy Butler who is more than happy to play with the ball in his hands and looked just fine earlier this season when Derrick Rose was out and he was creating a lot of his own opportunities as well as distributing the ball to teammates. I think Butler’s ability to play with the ball in his hands will help Brooks numbers and also boost Butler’s own numbers as he can create for himself and others.
I think in deep leagues both Hinrich and Brooks are worth owning, but in standard leagues Brooks is the guy to keep an eye out for. As for the rest of the regulars on the team I think this could boost their values and you may want to take a stab at making a trade for them before they take off.