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Ball Don't Lie

Derrick Rose puts an end to all those Pau Gasol trade rumors. Kind of

Kelly Dwyer
Ball Don't Lie

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Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol (Getty Images)

For the last time -- because the deal will never happen -- let's get some clarification on the rumor that was tossed around earlier this week about Derrick Rose hinting or straight up asking that his Chicago Bulls deal Carlos Boozer to the Los Angeles Lakers for Pau Gasol. Let's start with the end of this; because, again, this trade will never go down. Rose confirmed to Christopher Cason at CSNChicago.com (via PBT) that he made no such demand.

"I heard it after the game [on Monday] and that's something that I wouldn't say to anyone," said Rose. "It was all false and that's something I'll never do. I'm good with the teammates that I have. I've always been saying that. We've been winning games and we're not in the position to look to trade anyone right now.

"I talked to [Boozer] a little bit, but I think he already knew that [the rumor] was false," continued Rose. "It's something that I wouldn't do to anyone. It was all false."

Any reports, or extended analysis that confused Rose "asking" the Bulls to trade Boozer (specifically) for Gasol was false. That wasn't the initial report, though.

Chris Sheridan, who went on record more than most in telling this story, offered this clarification earlier this week:

Another arm of the Tribune Company, the Los Angeles Times, posted a link on its Lakers blog reading: " Sheridan Hoops' Chris Sheridan reports that Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose told management he wants them to acquire Lakers forward Pau Gasol in a trade."

Actually, that is not what I reported.

The key word in that sentence is "told."

In my report, I did not claim that Rose told anybody anything. I said he had "let it be known."

It is semantics, but semantics are important in a story of this magnitude.

If someone were to ask Rose whether he "told" that to Bulls management, he could be completely truthful in saying "no."

But if someone asked Rose whether he had made his thoughts on Gasol known through an intermediary, it would be interesting to hear his exact answer.

I obviously can't speak to Sheridan's sources, but he's not exactly wrong here. As he points out, semantics are important in this case.

That said, this could be anyone around Rose. A buddy of his shooting the you-know-what at a diner late night after a game. An adidas rep who may have watched part of a Lakers game or highlight package while picking Rose's brain about Gasol's skills. A Chicago tape operator, which is possible considering Rose's obsession with game film. Or a real, influential, liaison between Rose and the team's front office.

Anyone can be a part of Derrick Rose trying to "let it be known." I'm not trying to dismiss Sheridan, here, but I can let it be known that I would like 42 chicken wings for dinner tonight. It doesn't mean I'm not going to eat baked fish and brown rice.

We were quick to dismiss initial mainly because Rose has never been so brazen in situations like these, and while Sheridan's explanation might look like he's covering his tracks, here, his semantics leave him in a safe place. His reporting is sound. Rose could have made this known. Hell, as a Bulls fan, I'd like to make it known. It'd be nice to have one of the more talented and versatile big men of his generation on Chicago's roster.

The problem is that it's never going to happen. Los Angeles won't want Boozer, even after flirting with trading for him back in 2005, and especially not with a contract that runs a year longer than Gasol's. Even with Boozer's big deal, his salary doesn't match up well with Pau's, so the Bulls would be forced to toss point guard C.J. Watson into the mix. The Lakers badly need a competent point man like Watson, but Chicago might not be willing to risk the chemistry that laid the groundwork for the team's 27-8 start, especially with Rose (who is reportedly pain-free) having missed 10 of his team's games.

Pardon my cheery take, but everyone's right in this regard. The Lakers are smart to potentially keep Gasol, who could be the key in matchups as the team looks to regain that championship edge. The Bulls are certainly right to prefer Gasol over Boozer, but also right to be hesitant before trading an important piece like C.J. Watson (again, assuming this deal ever had a toe steeped in reality). Rose is right to muse about how great it would be to have Pau Gasol on his team to supposed confidantes, he's right to dismiss the idea that he ever asked for that trade, and Sheridan is right to point out that he never wrote that Derrick asked for that specific deal in discussions with Bulls management.

Whew. Bright skies and smiling faces, all around.

Also, no deal.

(Bummer.)

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