Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 6/4/12

Had Derrick Rose not gone down with a devastating knee injury in the first round of the playoffs, things would likely look a lot different in the Eastern Conference right now. The Celtics are the obvious beneficiaries, having drawn home court advantage against the Sixers in the second round rather than having to face the top-seeded Bulls. With Rose’s recovery expected to extend well into the 2012-2013 season, Chicago has no choice but to explore different ways to bolster their roster.

According to CSNChicago.com, the Bulls are planning to take a run at veterans Steve Nash and Jason Kidd this offseason. With a core of Luol Deng, Rip Hamilton, Joakim Noah, and Carlos Boozer that the front office reportedly plans to keep in tact, the Bulls should contend in the East with or without Rose. There’s no need to take a year off.

The timetable for Rose’s return is anywhere from eight months to a full year. Even if he does return next season, there’s no telling how effective he will be after missing almost an entire year of basketball. Nash and Kidd will almost certainly be looking to go to a title contender, and the Bulls should be a point guard away from being just that at the start of next season.

If the East was loaded, the Bulls might simply settle for a minimum salary guy to get them by until Rose returns. However, with the Celtics aging and Dwight Howard’s future a complete mystery, the only sure powerhouse in the East next season will be the Heat. The Bulls would be doing the fans a great injustice to not even attempt to find someone who can fill in for Rose and play quarterback for a season in Chicago.

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Photo credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

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