By ruling out Derrick Rose for the season, the Chicago Bulls eliminated any speculation about his return. That allows them to concentrate on this season without his status overshadowing everything.

Even though they're off to a slow start, hovering around .500, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, steadfast as ever, thinks his Bulls can win this season.

So who will lead the team to those wins now that Rose is out? It seems that role will fall to forward Luol Deng. He has done it before. He is Chicago's leading scorer (16.3 points a game), third-leading rebounder (7.3 a game) and a capable passer (3.4 assists a game). He is also Chicago's best perimeter defender.

With that in mind, Deng, who will make $14.2 million this year in the final year of his six-year deal, probably will be with the Bulls for the long haul, a person familiar with both sides told USA TODAY Sports. Even though an expiring deal is ideal to trade, both sides appear to want to keep him on the team. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about a potential deal.

Furthermore, not many, if any, teams will be looking to deal high draft picks when the 2014 draft class is loaded, especially at the top.

Carlos Boozer's big contract expires after 2014-15, and he will make $16.8 million the final year. It will be tough to move his deal and get what they want in return. The Bulls could always amnesty Boozer in the offseason, but their philosophy on that has always been: "Where else are we going to get 17 points and eight rebounds a game?"

Guard Jimmy Butler is an asset, but the Bulls aren't interested in moving him.