Bulls GM Gets Honest About DeMar DeRozan’s Future

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

Getty DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls.

With Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan heading into the final year of his contract, general manager Marc Eversley says the front office already knows what it wants to happen.

“DeMar’s been great,” Eversley said, per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic on August 21. “He’s been terrific for this group, not only on the court but off the court. He’s been a leader. I would love DeMar to be part of this program long term. … We hope Deebo’s back. He’s been an integral part of this program’s success. We hope he is here long term.”

DeRozan signed a three-year, $81 million contract as part of a sign-and-trade from the San Antonio Spurs in 2021. Since then, he has averaged 26.2 points 5.0 assists, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.0 steals while making 150 of a possible 164 appearances.

He has certainly performed at a high level.

“I can guarantee you that, from the [DeRozan’s] side, there will be some proactiveness,” said NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson on the “Bulls Talk Podcast” on August 5. “There’s no other way to cut this: DeMar DeRozan has come to Chicago, taken over this team, excelled in all areas on the court off the court.

“If you’re his agent what you’re saying is this dude has come in and single-handedly helped resuscitate your franchise.”

However, DeRozan is also heading into his 15th NBA season and turned 34 years old on August 7.

“Let’s see how that plays out and what that looks like going forward,” Eversley said. “When those conversations take place, we’ll speak about that more when that happens.”

DeRozan puts in a lot of work in the offseason to maintain his level of performance, which is why the Bulls’ young players have trained with him the last two offseasons. His 59.1% true shooting over the last two years was only bested by his final two seasons with the Spurs.

He also sent a message on his “mood” that seems to suggest he’s found his next axe to grind for motivation.

DeRozan has also spoken of enjoying playing alongside Zach LaVine.

That relationship has been the source of great speculation amid the latter’s questioning of his role last season as the team leaned on DeRozan in crunch time. LaVine signed a five-year, $215 million max contract last season, the richest in franchise history, and has shown no lack of confidence in his abilities even in trying times.

That was essentially his message to head coach Billy Donovan who benched him in the fourth quarter of a game against the Orlando Magic last season.

DeRozan was still the go-to option down the stretch.

Marc Eversley Highlights Pair of Former Top Picks

Eversley did not stop with DeRozan, he doubled down on his challenge to fourth-year forward Patrick Williams who he says has the talent to be great but needs to put it all together more consistently.

He also said the team was “excited” about fifth-year guard Coby White who the team re-signed on a three-year, $36 million deal this summer.

“The guy who I’m really encouraged about from how he ended the season and what he’s done this summer and what I envision of him and how good he can be going forward for this group is Coby,” Eversley told Mayberry. “Coby’s development on the court has been terrific. His development off the court has been equally as impressive.”

Eversley noted that White has grown as a leader, becoming more willing to “challenge” guys and being more assertive and decisive. White’s performance on the court likely fueled that boost in confidence and he owes it, in part, to DeRozan.

DeMar DeRozan’s Impact on Coby White

White credits trainer Johnny “Dribble2Much” Stephene for helping him with his handle last summer.

Stephene is DeRozan’s long-time trainer.

DeRozan’s impact is apparent throughout the organization from his influence on younger teammates to his impact on the Bulls’ winning games. They are 80-70 when he plays and 6-8 when he doesn’t over the last two seasons while the 2022 campaign was the first time in LaVine’s career that he had a winning record in the regular season.

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