With the 2021 NBA Draft just weeks away, the league-wide rumor mill is hard at work, and the Chicago Bulls are a team that could take a number of different directions this offseason.
They’ve got no first-round pick in this year’s draft, but do have two All-Stars in Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine, suggesting they’ll target win-now moves.
Chicago’s obvious need is at point guard, where the starting slot is up for grabs given Coby White’s recent shoulder injury.
But if they’re unable to find the proper ball handling floor general they so desperately lack this summer, they could turn to the next-best option, possibly the biggest name remaining on the market.
At one point or another, it’s not unlikely that’s DeMar DeRozan, who’s expected to leave the San Antonio Spurs after three disappointing seasons.
Bulls insider Sam Smith has an interesting opinion on how a Big Three of LaVine, Vucevic, and the four-time All-Star could shake out in Chicago.
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Smith: DeRozan, LaVine Could Be Paxson Like
In his latest mailbag for NBA.com, Sam Smith was asked about potentially acquiring noted “three-and-d” wing, Kelly Oubre Jr., from the Golden State Warriors.
He rebuffed the idea, particularly under the circumstance that it would be a sign-and-trade for Lauri Markkanen.
Smith then pivoted to fans who’ve also asked about DeMar DeRozan, and made an interesting comparison for the All-Star’s fit next to Zach LaVine:
Fans have asked about DeRozan, and if the Bulls cannot upgrade enough at point guard, I wouldn’t settle just because that’s someone’s business card. DeRozan and LaVine could be an alternating two/three combination with ball-handling like the Bulls had when John Paxson was the point guard.
Similar to Scottie Pippen, DeRozan is a playmaking small forward. If they strike out on a real point guard and proceed with someone like Coby White or Tomas Satoransky, the comparison makes sense.
Paxson never averaged more than 4.1 assists per game during Chicago’s championship era from 1987 to 1994. Whereas Jordan and Pippen averaged over five apiece across their Bulls tenures.
DeRozan averaged 6.2 assists over his three seasons in San Antonio, where he never played with a true point guard.
It’s something to consider, but as Smith says, only if the Chicago Bulls first strike out on upgrading at point guard.
Moore: Bulls to be ‘Big Spenders’ This Offseason
When it came to the Chicago Bulls, he reported that there’s an expectation league-wide that they’ll splurge at point guard if given the opportunity:
The Bulls are expected to be big spenders in the free-agency market, particularly at guard.
Moore named a number of potential targets, including one not so often reported as a potential target in Kyle Lowry:
Four names are tied to Chicago: Kyle Lowry, Dennis Schröder, Lonzo Ball, and Spencer Dinwiddie. Chicago wants a playmaking point guard next to Zach LaVine.
Buckle up Chicago Bulls fans.
Things are bound to see a shake up in the Windy City this summer.