Finally, the Chicago Bulls are having an offseason fit for one of the largest markets in the NBA. In addition to the sign-and-trade deal that landed the Bulls Lonzo Ball, Chicago also swung a similar agreement with the San Antonio Spurs to acquire multiple-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan.
DeRozan, who inked a three-year, $35 million deal with the Bulls, will wear No. 11 with Chicago. On Tuesday, he explained why he chose to sign that contract and to come to Chicago. Bulls fans should be beaming when they hear why DeRozan’s explanation.
Per The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry, DeRozan made his reason for choosing the Bulls plain and simple.
The talent. Obviously, great city. Great organization. The history behind it is definitely amazing. But for sure, the talent. Looking at players like Zach (LaVine), I’ve been a fan of Zach since he’s been in the league. Just looking at the overall squad. Seeing (Nikola) Vučević there, that was my teammate in college. So, it’s been great.
When is the last time a marquee free agent chose to play for the Bulls? Even more, when is the last time we saw one choose the Bulls because of “the talent?”
We might be entering a new era of Bulls basketball.
Examining the Bulls’ Current Star Power
In DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, the Bulls now have three players on their team who averaged more than 20 points per game last season. The Bulls’ new Big 3 didn’t just score a ton of points, they did it efficiently.
None of the three shot poorer than 47% from the field. All three make well over 80% of their free throws, which means a lot down the stretch of close games. If there is any dent in the armor of the Bulls’ high-scoring trio, it is DeRozan’s below-average three-point shooting.
For his career, DeRozan has made just 28% of his shots from long range. and he’s only averaged 1.5 attempts per contest. At 32 years old, the chances of DeRozan transforming himself into a high-volume threat from deep are slim.
However, he doesn’t need to if he continues to be effective in pick-and-roll situations, strong on the free throw line, and a much improved passer. DeRozan averaged a career-high 6.9 assists per game last season. His production in that is way up during his time with the San Antonio Spurs compared his first 9 years in the league with the Toronto Raptors.
Expect DeRozan to be more of a facilitator on offense, while also providing a second dangerous perimeter and post-up threat for the Bulls. Let’s not forget about the maturation of Patrick Williams.
The No. 4 overall pick from 2020 has been looking strong in summer league action. He had 30 points in a win over the Spurs on Tuesday night with DeRozan in attendance in Orlando.
These weapons will be on the floor with a real point guard in Ball and the potential is exciting.
The Bulls’ new-look starting five will have to get acquainted with each other, but the roster has some serious offensive upside. They will need to work things out on defense. DeRozan, LaVine and Vucevic have faced some challenges on that end during their careers.
That said, the roster is vastly improved over where it has been recently.
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