By Cody Westerlund–
CHICAGO (CBS) — In an unprompted remark that left many puzzled at Bulls media day to open the 2015-’16 season, point guard Derrick Rose turned his attention to the summer of 2017, when he’s set to become a free agent.READ MORE: Record 53,000 Rat Complaints Help Chicago Retain Crown As Rattiest City In America For 7th Year In A Row
The sequence began when Rose was asked how much a sexual assault civil lawsuit filed against him in California by an ex-girlfriend weighed on him and affected his preparation for the new season.
“I’ve been moved on,” Rose said. “This whole summer I had tunnel vision. My mindset was just making sure that I was working out every day, and spending as much time as possible with my son (P.J.). And focusing on those two things. Making sure my family is financially stable, as far as seeing all the money that they’re passing out in this league. Just telling the truth. Just knowing that my day will be coming up soon, and it’s not for me. It’s for P.J. and his future, so that’s what I’m thinking about right now.’
“I’m preparing for it.’’
Rose, who turns 27 on Sunday, has two years and around $41 million left on a max deal with Chicago. Asked a follow-up question later, Rose emphasized that he wants his future to be in Chicago but indicated his mind is on getting his fair share of cash in a changing financial landscape in which a massive influx of TV money is leading to rising player salaries.
The salary cap is $70 million for 2015-’16 but is projected to jump to around $89 million in 2016-’17 and about $108 million in 2017-’18 in large part because of a mega new TV deal.
“Here, it’s here,” Rose said of where he wants to play. “But when you talk about that much money, the only thing you can do is prepare for it. I’m trying to prepare, not only myself, but my family. And I’m doing this all for my son. Like I said, I’m thinking about his future. Even though we’re all right, we’re comfortable, when you talk about that x-amount of dollars, I think it raises everyone’s eyebrows, so there’s nothing wrong with being over-prepared.’’READ MORE: Thief Smashes Front Door Of Halal Guys Restaurant On Near North Side To Steal Money From Cash Register
As for the on-court aspect of basketball, Rose had high praise for new coach Fred Hoiberg, who’s expected to implement a more free-flowing offensive system that will allow for creative freedom for playmakers like Rose.
“It’s going to be a little adjustment, but it should be challenging and fun at the same time,” Rose said. “We know that we love playing basketball. Being under (Tom Thibodeau’s) system for so long, now there’s a new vibe to the team, a new coach. He brings something new to the table where he’s more relaxed. I think that the players should appreciate that more, I think we should appreciate that more.’’
For the first time since summer 2011, Rose was able to work on his game instead of rehabbing a knee injury. There’s no plan for him to have any restrictions, general manager Gar Forman said, though Hoiberg said he’ll utilize caution in the preseason.
Rose averaged 20.3 points on 40 percent shooting in 37.8 minutes in 12 postseason games last season. In a more inconsistent regular season interrupted by a hamstring injury, ankle sprains and a surgery on his right medial meniscus, Rose averaged 17.7 points on 41 percent shooting in 30.0 minutes in 51 games.
Hoiberg expects a rejuvenated performance out of Rose after visiting him in Los Angeles during the offseason and viewing some workouts.
“I went out and visited him in L.A. and saw the explosiveness and loved the training that he did,” Hoiberg said. “I saw him in the weight room in the morning and then got with him on the floor in the afternoon. Getting back here, seeing him in the gym, he’s got his explosiveness right now. And watching where he finished the year, rewatching the Milwaukee and Cleveland series, he finished the year playing at a very high level. And I think he’s taking that momentum of how that season finished into his offseason program. I think Derrick’s in terrific shape right now.”MORE NEWS: Investigation Underway After 74-Year-Old Man Found Dead In Englewood Home
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for CBSChicago.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.