DeMar DeRozan said his free agency conversations with the Los Angeles Lakers ‘didn’t work’ in the offseason, according to his interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic.
“Just didn’t work,” DeRozan said. “You know how the business goes. One thing can just change the whole dynamic and everything. But, it was a hell of an opportunity that we tried to make happen.”
Fans speculate that DeRozan could be referring to the Lakers’ trade for Russell Westbrook as the “one thing” that “change(d) the whole dynamic” with DeRozan’s status with the Lakers.
Lucky for Bulls fans, DeRozan chose Chicago as the next destination of his ongoing 13-year career. He joined Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Derrick Jones Jr., and more in one of the better NBA offseason classes this past summer.
DeRozan chose Chicago over two powerhouse teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. DeRozan is from Compton, California originally and attended the University of Southern California too.
DeMar DeRozan on almost becoming a Laker before joining the Bulls. pic.twitter.com/c20nELf6xj
— Laker Central 🎙🎧🎥📝 (@LakerCentral365) October 8, 2021
DeRozan’s signing with the Bulls is a testament to the potential of the front office.
Bulls nation knows all too well they trust the mindset and decisions of their Vice President of Basketball Operations — Arturas Karnisovas.
Whether it was the drafting of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray during his time in Denver, or his first blockbuster trade with the Bulls to acquire Nikola Vucevic before the trade deadline last season, Bulls fans trust him.
But, DeRozan’s acquisition is not a tip-of-the-cap to Karnisovas, yet to Bulls general manager Marc Eversley.
It was Eversley that had the prior connection to DeRozan from their days in Toronto that sparked the connection between DeRozan and Chicago.
Better yet, Eversley flew out to Los Angeles to meet with DeRozan during free agency, after his agent contacted interested teams to do so if they wanted DeRozan on their squad, according to ESPN writer Marc Spears.
Remember, Chicago is a lot further from Los Angeles than, well, Los Angeles. The Clippers and the Lakers were the other teams that were in contact with DeRozan about coming to their team.
Convincing DeRozan to skip out on his hometown teams is no easy task. But, Eversley and the Bulls front office were able to get it done.
DeRozan is already proving to be an outstanding signing for the Bulls this preseason.
DeRozan is already contributing heavily to the Bulls’ starting lineup this preseason.
His best offensive game came Sunday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. DeRozan dropped 23 points on 9-17 shooting from the field, adding four rebounds and two assists to his night.
Zach LaVine made it a point during the Bulls’ media day that DeRozan is still in the prime of his career at age 32.
Last season, DeRozan averaged 21.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game on 49.5 percent shooting from the field.
DeRozan is a skilled player, frequently getting to the free-throw line (7.2 attempts per game) and taking advantage of the stripe (88.8 percent free-throw shooter last year).
He is also one of the best players in the clutch. He averaged the sixth-most points per game in crunch time last season and shot 45 percent from the field in those situations.