With an average of 21+3+4 per game, the 34-year-old All-Star was put on the shelf, and the Lakers' opportunity came
In the 2021 offseason, the Spurs chose to make up their minds to play badly, and at this time, DeMar DeRozan, as the face of the team, still has oil, and he averaged 21.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game the previous season. Although DeRozan's average points per game this year has declined compared to his peak, the Spurs have been coached by Popovich for three years, DeRozan has practiced his ability to organize offense, so when he negotiated with the Spurs to separate, he also attracted the attention of many teams, including the Lakers, Bulls, etc.
In the end, after many screenings, the Spurs still chose to trade DeRozan to the Bulls, but unexpectedly, this deal helped DeRozan play the second spring of his career. In his first season with the Bulls, DeRozan averaged 27.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 50.4% from the field and 35.2% from three-point range. DeRozan scored 5 40+ times throughout the regular season, including one with 50 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists on 65.4% shooting, and it can be said that his performance that year was even better than when he was with the Raptors.
After such an amazing performance, DeRozan was also selected to the All-Star and All-Star team again after 4 years, and with his help, the Bulls also got their wish to make the playoffs. However, in the first round against the Bucks that year, the Bulls had almost no ability to fight back, and as the team's leading scorer, DeRozan basically had to face various packages of the Bucks every game, so his performance in that round series was not ideal, and his average data fell to 20.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game, but even so he was still the best player in the Bulls lineup.
DeRozan's form declined last season, but he still averaged 24.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game in the regular season, and still shot an efficient 50.4% from the field. However, although DeRozan's form was not bad this year, the Bulls not only did not improve, but they ended up in the play-offs, and the team finally missed the playoffs. You must know that DeRozan joined the Bulls in 2021 to compete for the championship, but he didn't even touch the edge of the Eastern Conference semifinals in two years.
When the Bulls signed DeRozan first and then traded for DeRozan, they signed a 3-year contract with the latter, which means that the new season is likely to be DeRozan's last season with the Bulls, if the team is still unable to succeed, then the Bulls are likely to face the possibility of letting DeRozan go for nothing next offseason, you must know that in 2021, they traded DeRozan to send instant players and draft picks, so if DeRozan agrees to join another team after being a free agent next year, the Bulls will basically lose all their money。
So for the Bulls, they also need to reconsider their future plans this season, and if the team is still underperforming, then they can only disband the Big Three early. And now that the new season has been going on for a while, the Bulls' record has actually regressed, they have only achieved a 6-14 record so far, and before the upset victory over the Bucks, they just suffered a five-game losing streak and ranked third from the bottom in the East. What's even more embarrassing is that the Bulls won the Bucks in the absence of two All-Star players, LaVine and DeRozan.
In this way, it seems that the Bulls can only disband early, so that the team can at least trade back some rebuilding assets, and the most likely of the Bulls Big Three to be sent away is DeRozan. The reason is that although LaVine is young, his contract is long and big, and other teams will be very cautious even if they want to trade him, and no one will be the first to make a decisive offer to LaVine until the end. As for Vucevic, he just signed a 3-year 60 million contract with the Bulls this offseason, although the amount is not large, but Vucevic's strength is indeed average, and the championship team basically looks down on him, and the bad team is reluctant to send young players or draft picks to the Bulls in exchange for him, so on the whole, only DeRozan may be the first to be traded.
DeRozan, who is 34 years old this season, averaged 21.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1 steal per game, compared with the past two seasons, he has declined a little, but considering his annual salary of less than 30 million and his contract is still expiring, his strength can be regarded as matching his value. With DeRozan the type of player, it's certainly unrealistic to expect him to lead the team to win the championship, but if it's a championship team that plays three in the lead, it's still possible.
The most important thing is that DeRozan is now on an expiring contract, and even if it doesn't work out well, the team doesn't need to worry about him taking up the team's future salary space. And if the contract expires, the Bulls will naturally not ask for a sky-high price, and there is basically no problem in sending a few players and adding a few second rounds. However, the expiring contract has advantages, and naturally there are inevitable disadvantages, that is, if DeRozan doesn't want to play for them, then DeRozan is in favor of being a free agent, and they will be the ones who lose, so the team that wants DeRozan basically has to meet the standards of a strong team, and DeRozan must see the hope of winning the championship, and he will renew his contract with the team.
According to recent reports, the Lakers are very interested in getting DeRozan, in fact, it has not been a day or two that the Lakers are interested in DeRozan, and when DeRozan was put on the shelf by the Spurs in 2021, the Lakers wanted to exchange Kuzma and other chips for him, but unfortunately in the end the Lakers still chose to change the Wei. Later, when the Lakers wanted to trade Wei Shao, DeRozan was also one of the candidates, but due to the salary was not matched, and the Bulls had not made up their minds to rot at that time, so it was not enough in the end.
Now there are rumors that the Lakers are interested in DeRozan, and it can be seen from the past two seasons that this time it must be true, and the current situation of the Lakers is not very good, and they are still far from becoming a real championship team. The Lakers currently sit in seventh place in the West with an 11-8 record, and their main problem now is the offense, the lack of a third scoring point and a ball-handler who can digest a lot of possession.
While DeRozan's style of play doesn't fit perfectly with the Lakers' current shortcomings, his offensive ability is clearly better than that of anyone else in the Lakers except James and Bushy Eyebrows, and he's not without playmaking skills right now. However, the news about the Lakers and DeRozan is still just rumors, so it is not clear where his next home is, and unless DeRozan gets worse and worse, the Bulls will have to screen it well.