Comeback trail, again: Derrick Rose in action for Chicago against LA Lakers guard Kobe Bryant in 2011. Photo: Reuters
Everyone associated with Derrick Rose's second serious knee rehabilitation has said the process has gone smoothly.
Now, it's finally time to publicly see the results.
Rose on Monday will be one of 18 players at USA Basketball's five-day minicamp in Las Vegas. The week begins the process that will include a three-day August stint in Chicago and culminate with a 12-man roster traveling to Spain for the FIBA Basketball World Cup from late August to mid-September.
Rose hasn't answered questions about his basketball performance since scoring 19 points in 33 minutes during a Bulls' loss at Denver last Nov. 21. The next night, he tore his right meniscus on a seemingly benign backcut against the Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore.
"This is the next step," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who also serves as Mike Krzyzewski's assistant for USA Basketball. "Derrick has handled every step to this point the right way. The last time he participated in USA Basketball, he followed that with his MVP season (in 2010-11). So we're hoping he can use this time productively."
USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo and Krzyzewski typically place a high premium on previous experience in making roster decisions. So the fact Rose played on the 2010 World Championship team that won gold in Turkey is equity that could come in handy.
Still, Rose could be racing rust against elite competition. And the point guard position is stacked even with Russell Westbrook's withdrawal. Golden State's Stephen Curry, Cleveland's Kyrie Irving, Portland's Damian Lillard and Washington's John Wall certainly will test Rose's conditioning.
Rose, who also tore his left ACL in the first game of the 2012 NBA playoffs, has appeared in just 50 games over the last three NBA seasons.
Besides Rose and Thibodeau, Bulls' first-round acquisition Doug McDermott and Jimmy Butler are scheduled to be in Las Vegas on the Select team that will practice against the National team.
The Hawks All-Star forward Paul Millsap was added to the 2014-16 U.S. Men's Basketball Team roster on Sunday.
Millsap joins teammate Kyle Korver on the roster. The Hawks are one of only three NBA teams with two players on the roster. The Wizards' John Wall and Bradley Beal and the Warriors' Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are also part of the roster.
The team had an opening after the Timberwolves' Kevin Love said last week that he would not take part in the World Cup "because of his current status." Love has been the subject of many trade rumours this offseason.
Millsap is coming off a career-best season with the Hawks. He averaged 17.9 points and 8.5 rebounds in his first season in Atlanta after spending his first seven seasons with the Jazz. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career. Millsap played an increasingly important role with the Hawks after the team lost starting center and top scorer Al Horford 29 games into the season.