LAS VEGAS -- In 2010, the Bulls hired Tom Thibodeau, Derrick Rose won a gold medal with Team USA and the front office overhauled a roster that produced 62 victories, a most valuable player award for Rose and a trip to the Eastern Conference finals.
Four summers later, Thibodeau's contract extension is firmly in place, the roster has undergone significant alterations again and with Rose's return, the possibilities are endless.
"This is the most talented team I've played on in my NBA career," Rose said. "We have a deep team, and we have players who have one goal. We'll do anything to get there."
Rose, of course, remains the centerpiece, both for the Bulls' success next season and for his return from successive knee injuries here at Team USA minicamp. After assessing his health, he actually knocked on the hardwood floor Wednesday after a third straight day of stellar practice, which featured back-to-back blocked shots in the scrimmaging portion open to reporters.
"I feel great, man," he said. "I don't have any aches and my body's feeling really good. My mind is clear. I'm eating right, getting all the nutrition that I'm supposed to and getting rest."
Rose's daily health update continues to reveal a player in tune with his body and profession, a serious commitment that goes beyond highlight-reel plays and to the mundane. He said he drinks six to eight bottles of water daily. He takes supplements for proper blood flow. He stretches at night with a roller massaging his muscles.
"Just becoming a professional," Rose said. "I remember my rookie year I would see all the old players stretching and bone-rolling and using trainers to stretch them. I didn't think nothing about it.
"But now I'm kind of mad I didn't take advantage of it when I was younger and whenever I talk to these younger players, I try to tell them, 'Man, get the maintenance on your body. Get massages. Make sure you're always getting treatment because you're going to need it for this long career.' "
It's hard to believe Rose, at 25, is entering his seventh season, although he missed the 2012-13 season entirely and logged just 10 games last season. He said he weighs 209 pounds with just 4.5 percent body fat.
No wonder general manager Gar Forman joined the growing chorus raving about Rose.
"He has been terrific," Forman said. "He looks strong. He looks confident. He looks explosive. He has been in a real good rhythm. He is playmaking for himself and others.
"I haven't seen him back down to contact in any way. He has made plays in the key and at the rim on both ends of the floor. He is playing with a real nice pace to his game. Obviously, he is so athletic that he's going to make explosive plays. But I don't see him rushing in anything that he's doing.
"Defensively, it has been incredible to see him get after guys. (Wednesday), he had four or five big-time athletic plays -- blocked shots, steals in the open court. It's great that he gets to play against this level of competition. And it's just good to see him playing with so much confidence and just reacting and playing."
Forman said there is no organizational fear over Rose's participation and reiterated he's hopeful Rose makes the 12-man roster that travels to Spain for the FIBA World Cup. All signs point to Rose being a lock.
"It will be a plus for him going into camp in October and a plus for our team," Forman said.
That team appears set. The Bulls made more serious inquiries on Kevin Love before the NBA draft in June when they possessed assets -- Carlos Boozer's expiring contract, three non-guaranteed deals they have waived since and two first-round draft picks -- they no longer can dangle. Team sources indicate the team won't be gutted to acquire Love.
Management moved on to an all-out pursuit of Carmelo Anthony and ended with the depth of Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, Doug McDermott and Aaron Brooks.
"We have quality depth across the board," Forman said. "We wanted to improve our skill level and ability to shoot to space the floor and I think we were able to do that. We were very encouraged with how the free agency period went as far as putting pieces together that we think fit with the core guys we have coming back.
"We really like the group we have and look forward to getting going in October with it."
Forman and Rose termed the Bulls' offseason as aggressive.
"I have the sense that they went for it," Rose said. "We have a lot of confidence in the players we signed. And we know the guys we already have are working out hard."
Thibodeau focused on the task ahead.
"The team that won 62 games and 50 in the lockout season, they did it on the floor," he said. "So we can talk about it. But we have to put the work into it. I like the fact we have quality depth. I love the players we have. But the biggest thing is Derrick. You can never lose sight of how important he is for our team."
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