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Westerlund: Thibodeau on Rose’s Recovery, 4-Pointers And Veteran Buyouts

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Tom Thibodeau.  (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Tom Thibodeau. (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cody Westerlund headshot very small Cody Westerlund
A sports editor for CBSChicago.com and 670TheScore.com, ...
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By Cody Westerlund-

(CBS) From Derrick Rose’s future to potential buyout players to sign, there were a number of timely and important topics Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau addressed before Wednesday night’s game against the Warriors. Here’s a few notes…

— In his recovery from a medial meniscus tear in his right knee, Rose has now moved off the treadmill to do some running and is also doing lateral slides, but he’s nowhere near returning to practice and remains out for the season, Thibodeau emphasized.

Doing a little bit more, he’s moving along. But nowhere close to practice. He’s doing some running, he’s off the treadmill. Still on it at times … Doing lateral slides and things like that, but nowhere near even practicing or anything like that.”

Thibodeau didn’t rule out the possibility of Rose returning to practice near the end of the season.

“It’s a step-by-step thing,” Thibodeau said. “He’s doing great. He’s out for the season, nothing’s changed there. In the end, if it makes sense for him to practice, that’s what we’ll do.

— It was recently reported that the NBA has discussed – in a very preliminary manner – lengthening the court and/or adding a 4-pointer. Thibodeau said he loves the game as it is but will stay open-minded.

“We have a great game,” he said. “I think Adam (Silver) is going to be terrific, and commissioner (David) Stern was the same way. There are committees to have an open mind. If something makes sense, you try it. And that’s the beauty of the D-League and summer league, where you try ideas out you may think may be good for the game and you get a chance to experiment and see whether it is or not. But I think, when they changed the rules in the ‘90s to open the offense up more, I think that was good. I think the game keeps evolving. I think we have a great game. I don’t know. It may be hard to do with the arenas. I like the game we have now, but you don’t want to have a closed mind. If something makes sense, we should take a look at it.”

— At some point, the Bulls will likely sign a 13th player for the remainder of the season, and potential options could be veterans who are bought out of their contracts. David Aldridge of TNT reported the Bulls would be in the hunt for Danny Granger if/when the 76ers do buy him out.

Thibodeau didn’t speak specifically of any players but did share his general thoughts on how much such a player could help late in the season.

“It depends on who it is,” Thibodeau said. “Usually the guys now, you’re looking at veterans who have been around and through different systems. I think some of those guys pick things up pretty quickly, and then you can move them along too … When they play, maybe you have a smaller package to work with.”

Asked if he anticipates his team adding a veteran at some point, Thibodeau replied, “We could.”

“I know (the front office is) looking at the market and watching how it shakes up,” he said.

Cody Westerlund is sports editor for CBSChicago.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.

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