One of the more ridiculous topics I've heard this month is whether this is a rebuilding season for the Bulls.
When Minnesota got rid of Kevin Garnett, that could be considered rebuilding. But mostly that's an exercise for college football. Rich Rodriguez is rebuilding. The Bulls, with just two new players, are not.
The Bulls were certainly at a crossroads when last season ended, finishing 33-49 after most observers expected them to challenge for the Eastern Conference title. But winning the draft lottery and having Derrick Rose fall into their laps changed everything.
Now the past barely matters. Signing Ben Wallace, trading away Tyson Chandler and Elton Brand, losing Jay Williams in a motorcycle accident -- it's all irrelevant now because drafting Rose was just about the best thing that could happen to this franchise.
When training camp began, I expected the Bulls to be modestly improved and maybe challenge for the No. 8 playoff spot in the East. After seeing Rose in action, no doubt the ceiling has gotten higher. He'll be one of the NBA's best guards and most dangerous players almost immediately.
Winning may take some time. You'll see teams throwing the kitchen sink at Rose right away, trying to do anything possible to take away his lanes to the basket. He'll need time to connect with his teammates; to know where Ben Gordon will be waiting for a pass or when to lob it up for Tyrus Thomas.
The lack of strength and experience inside is bound to hurt the Bulls. They have a tough test in Game 2 at Boston on Friday and it will be interesting to see what Rose can accomplish against Kevin Garnett's crew. Then again, if the Bulls lose by 30, it's not a big deal either. This team should only get better as long as Rose stays healthy.
At this point, until the Bulls can make some sort of consolidation trade to land a top-of-the-line power forward or center, they might as well stick with the current group. They still have four players who were vital to the three-year playoff run, while Drew Gooden went to the Finals with the Cavaliers in 2006.
The supporting cast should be adequate. Now it's mostly just a matter of how fast and how far Rose can lead this team.