AMONG THE GAMBLES Eagles general manager Chip Kelly made last offseason, the biggest role of the dice was trading quarterback Nick Foles and a second-round draft pick to the St. Louis Rams for oft-injured quarterback Sam Bradford.

Bradford might not be the answer, but without the likelihood of drafting a franchise quarterback or signing one in free agency, Kelly took the a risk that a former No. 1 overall draft pick could realize his potential in a different setting.

When Sixers president/general manager Sam Hinkie took over in 2013, his first big move was the draft night trade of All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for the draft rights to Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel - the projected No. 1 overall pick who had slipped to sixth because of a knee injury.

In Hinkie's second draft, he picked Kansas center Joel Embiid, another projected top pick who fell because of injury, with the third overall selection.

Like Kelly with Bradford, Hinkie did not let fear of a past injury deter him for gambling on the upside of a potential franchise-altering player.

Would Hinkie take a similar flier if an established NBA star who might need a change of scenery to kick-start his career became available?

Would he make a Bradford-like gamble?

A rumor out of Chicago is that the Bulls and former MVP Derrick Rose could be heading toward an imminent separation.

"The Derrick Rose breakup with the Bulls has begun," ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst said on the radio Thursday. "I don't know how long it's going to last. I don't know when it's going to be complete. But you can sort of see it."

Rumors concerning star players come with a cup of salt, but let's assume Rose is available for the right compensation.

The Sixers should definitely explore it.

Besides being the 2011 MVP, Rose, the point guard who was drafted No. 1 overall in 2008, is a three-time All-Star, 2009 Rookie of the Year and 2011 first-team All-NBA.

He has a career scoring average of 20.3 points and 6.5 assists. He turned 27 in October.

In the Sixers' quest to find that elusive game-changing superstar, Rose could become their Excalibur or Holy Grail.

Add Rose to a young core of Noel, Jahlil Okafor and off-guard Nik Stauskas and suddenly the Sixers aren't a laughingstock.

With Rose as the established anchor, the hopeful arrivals of Embiid and forward Dario Saric and another lottery pick, Philadelphia becomes a lot more attractive to potential impact free agents.

Acquire Rose and the dial for the Sixers moves dramatically. The distant light way down the tunnel gets instantly brighter.

Hinkie could actually put a timetable put on this rebuilding process.

Of course, it would not be that simple. There would not even be rumors in Chicago if Rose did not have complications.

Rose's career has been in a state of flux since he injured his knee, coincidentally, in a playoff game against the Sixers in 2012.

Because of that anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee, Rose played only 61 games the last two seasons.

Although healthy again, he has thus far looked like a shell of his previous self, averaging 10.2 points and 5.4 assists through his first five games of the season, before getting 29 Thursday night against Oklahoma City.

Gambling on Rose regaining his past form would be the same as the Eagles' betting on Bradford.

In addition to his injury history, Rose is a bit weird. He'd require some handling but then most superstars do.

Rose is owed $41 million over the next two seasons, but the Sixers could absorb that and still have plenty of salary cap space.

Being bold sometimes requires taking calculated risks that could reap huge dividends.

The Sixers are in perfect position to take such a risk.

Because Hinkie has stripped the cupboard practically bare, the Sixers now have 10 first-round picks and 13 second-round picks through 2021.

Hinkie should use some of those assets to explore a deal for Rose. Would Chicago be interested in the 2016 protected first-round pick the Sixers have from the Lakers, which could be has high as fourth overall? Package that pick along with the highest of the first-round picks the Sixers could get from the Miami Heat and Oklahoma Thunder, plus a couple of second-rounders.

It would be essentially Michael Carter-Williams and a first-round pick for Rose.

I would rather take a chance on Rose regaining form than hope to get lucky with college freshmen who will not be picked higher than fourth and 10th overall.

The Sixers still would have two first-round picks, their own and either Miami/OKC, as protection if the Rose gamble did not work.

That's no greater risk than selecting an injured Embiid and Europe-locked Saric in the 2014 lottery, accept the Sixers get a former MVP to build with now.

It is early, and things change.

The Rose/Bulls separation might never happen, but if it becomes a reality, a gamble by Hinkie could fast-forward the "Process."

Columns: ph.ly/Smallwood