Wednesday, June 26, 2024

DeMar DeRozan Sign And Trade Gaining Momentum


Tonight’s NBA Draft will answer several questions for the Bulls and many other franchises looking for their next contributing roster piece. Free-agent signings will also likely start compiling in the coming weeks, as many player-option contracts will be decided on, and restricted free-agent offers will be extended. To begin the summer, all indications showed that DeMar DeRozan would most likely be returning to Chicago, where he said he would enjoy ending his career. His hometown Los Angeles Lakers remained a sneaky contender to sign the soon-to-be 35-year-old, and his desire to compete for an NBA Championship before his career is over always looms in the shadows. What has changed that DeRozan isn’t such a surefire Chicago Bull next season, and where’s he headed?

Trading Alex Caruso Made Him Explore Options

Rivaling executives saw the Alex Caruso for Josh Giddey swap as a step back for the Bulls, meaning they might not be in a win-now state of mind. This opens the door for the aging pieces on the roster, first and foremost DeRozan, who will enter his 16th season in the NBA and might be wearing his fourth different set of threads. If Chicago truly intends on a soft rebuild, it doesn’t make sense from a development or cap space standpoint to bring DeRozan back.

Los Angeles, But Not The Lakers

Steve Ballmer has never been one to be shy with the wallet, constantly making giant bids on the league’s brightest stars. Paul George is one of the most highly coveted free agents, and his departure could see the Clippers quickly pivot to other stars looking for new homes. According to Chicago Bulls ‘ insider K.C. Johnson, DeRozan reportedly is near the top of the replacement list. Can Arturas Karnisovas maneuver a sign-and-trade to get some consolation prize in exchange for losing their top scorer over the last three seasons?

Tonight’s events will help determine Chicago’s future direction. If that hints at tanking to retain their 2025 top-ten protected first-round pick in next year’s allegedly “loaded” draft, DeRozan will likely not return to the franchise. Trading up or possibly drafting a win-now asset could help lure their fan-favorite six-time All-Star back for another stint. Zach LaVine has also been one of the most significant question marks this summer: Will he be traded tonight for draft capital, and how far can he move the Bulls up the draft board?

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