Bulls Star DeMar DeRozan Hilariously Trolled Former Teammate

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

Getty Derrick White #4 of the San Antonio Spurs talks with teammates Rudy Gay #22, DeMar DeRozan #10

Apparently, Chicago Bulls star wing DeMar DeRozan has jokes for one of his old teammates. Last season was DeRozan’s first with the Bulls. But it was a return to the Eastern Conference where he made his name with the Toronto Raptors.

In between, however, DeRozan spent three years with the San Antonio Spurs and Gregg Popovic whom he credits with much of his late development.

DeRozan got to play with veteran forward Rudy Gay at both stops.

The two also won a FIBA gold medal together in 2014 and still maintain their friendship and even shared heartfelt goodbyes when DeRozan was traded to the Bulls. Fittingly, for Gay’s birthday, DeRozan took to Instagram to have a little fun at his friend’s expense.


An Unbroken Bond

DeRozan and Gay played together on the Raptors during the latter half of the 2013 season into the first half of the 2014 season. Gay was then traded to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for a package of rotation players including Chuck Hayes and Patrick Patterson.

Gay would go on to sign with the Spurs as a free agent in 2017, one year before DeRozan would be brought in in exchange for Kawhi Leonard.

After back-to-back one-year deals with the Spurs, he inked a two-year deal with the Utah Jazz.

He turned 36 years old on August 17. That is not “old” by any stretch of the imagination. But it is up there in NBA terms. It also means Gay is nearly three years older than DeRozan. That was all the wiggle room the Bulls star needed to get his joke off.

Gay is not quite 40 years old. But he is among the oldest players in the league heading into his 17th NBA season.

That doesn’t mean he is close to being “washed”.


Rudy Gay Could Help Bulls

Last season Gay averaged 8.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assists; all career-lows. He also shot 41.4% from the floor – the lowest mark of his career – as he saw his fewest minutes in a supporting role for the Jazz.

But Utah is now in limbo on a potential rebuild pending a potential Donovan Mitchell trade still on the table.

Even if Mitchell stays, it is hard to see Gay fitting in with Utah’s new timeline.

But what about the Bulls’ timeline? They are still in “win-now” mode and could use the 6-foot-8, 250-pound veteran off of their bench.

He is just one year removed from averaging 11.4/4.8/1.4 on a .420/.381/.804 slash line in fewer than 3.0 additional minutes per game than he saw last year. There were only 18 players to average at least 11.0 points and 4.0 boards while shooting 38.0% or better from beyond the arc and making at least 60 appearances in 2021.

Only 14 players averaged did it this past season, a list that includes Bulls star guard Zach Lavine.

But Gay is under contract for two more years at a little over $6 million per season. The Bulls would have to trade for him. That wouldn’t be impossible. But it is tricky to get the money to work unless Utah makes some other moves.


Gay’s Most Underrated Ability

Gay has been a veritable Ironman by today’s NBA standards. In 16 seasons, he has just two with fewer than 65 games played. He made 55 appearances for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2011 before being shut down following shoulder surgery. He made just 30 appearances in 2017 with the Kings before rupturing his Achilles.

Bulls vice president Arturas Karnisovas has gone about building up the depth to support the team’s stars this offseason.

It wouldn’t be the first time the organization had an interest in Gay.

Depending on what they do with White, they could certainly explore adding Gay and the skillset he would bring. His age might be too advanced for most teams. But the Bulls, who are counting on the development of youngsters like Patrick Williams, make a lot of sense if Gay is moved.

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