Luol Deng worries about Derrick Rose being misunderstood. Deng used his platform during All-Star Weekend to make sure his teammate’s message is clear.

When Rose said this week that he wouldn’t mind not coming back this season, it wasn’t because he doesn’t want to return as soon as possible, Deng said. Deng also said Rose is doing everything he can to get his surgically repaired left knee into playing shape.

“I want fans to understand that this guy wants to play more than anyone,” Deng said. “He wants to play more than you, and he wants to play more than the fans. He’s working hard. He’s in the gym before everyone. When everyone is leaving, he’s still taking care of his knee. He really wants to come back and be better than he was.”

When or if Rose returns this season will be the dominant theme of the second half for the Bulls. When Rose does make the decision, Deng said it won’t be only with himself in mind.

“Because of what he has done and the kind of person he is, people have to trust the decisions he makes,” Deng said. “He’s going to make the best decision for him and the best decision for the team.”

Deng said Rose should base his decision solely on how he feels.

“I keep telling him he shouldn’t play until he feels 100 percent,” Deng said. “He really shouldn’t, just for the future. The decision shouldn’t be on how the team is doing but how he feels.”