The Chicago Bulls are serious about contending for the playoffs next year. After executing a sign-and-trade to acquire point guard Lonzo Ball from the New Orleans Pelicans, and adding free agent Alex Caruso, the Bulls are signing DeMar DeRozan to a three-year, $85 million deal through a sign-and-trade with the San Antonio Spurs, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
This gives Chicago additional pieces to surround All-Star Zach LaVine, in addition to trading for Nikola Vucevic at the trade deadline last season. The Bulls will be sending Thaddeus Young, a future first-round pick and two second-round picks to the Spurs in the deal, per Charania.
Adding DeRozan is a good get for a team looking to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2017. He’ll take some of the pressure off LaVine to be the primary source of offense all the time, should help with Chicago having the lowest free-throw rate last season by attacking the rim heavily and can be his own source of offense when LaVine goes to the bench. Last season with the Spurs, DeRozan averaged 21.6 points, seven assists, 4.2 rebounds and nearly one steal a game, and was a borderline All-Star on a team that missed the playoffs. He’s been toiling away in San Antonio for the past three seasons, and will now join a Bulls team that is clearly gunning on making the postseason.
It’s the latest move by the Bulls in what should be viewed as a positive offseason for a team that severely underachieved last year. At the trade deadline, Chicago shipped off several of its young pieces in Wendell Carter Jr., Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchinson to go all-in on building around LaVine by bringing in Vucevic. LaVine is entering the final year of his contract, and if he and the Bulls can’t come to an agreement on an extension, then he will enter unrestricted free agency next summer.
It’s clear Chicago wants to keep him in a Bulls uniform past this year, and LaVine said he wants his respect in regards to a new contract. LaVine staying in Chicago also hinges on the Bulls building a team that can not only make the playoffs, but contend in the postseason. Adding guys like DeRozan, Ball and Caruso is a step in that direction.
Courtesy: CBS Sports