DeMar DeRozan Rejected Multi-Year Contract Offer From Bulls: Report

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

Getty DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls.

For some time, Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan has indicated that he desires to remain with the organization with his contract set to expire this offseason.

He has often included the caveat of “as long as the money is right.”

As the Bulls inch closer to deciding on that front, and coming on the heels of another disappointing finish to the season, it appears the 15-year veteran is looking for more than just how many zeros come with his next salary.

“A source said the Bulls recently offered DeRozan’s representative a two-year deal at a high annual salary, perhaps as much as $40 million per season,” NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson wrote on April 20. “For now, DeRozan is seeking a longer-term deal, but that [could] merely be part of negotiations.”

DeRozan led the NBA in total minutes this season, breaking LeBron James’ record set in 2018 to become the oldest player to do so in NBA history.

He is wrapping up a three-year, $81.9 million contract that was viewed as an overpay.

“In terms of DeMar, he’s been great for us for three years,” Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas told reporters on April 20. “He’s been invested in the city of Chicago and he’s been really great to our young guys. So both sides are interested in continuing, so we’ll see what happens in free agency.”

All Eyes on DeMar DeRozan’s Free Agency for Bulls

The six-time All-Star recently spoke candidly about his future in Chicago.

“Hate missed opportunities,” DeRozan told reporters after the season-ending loss to the Miami Heat on April 19. “Like I said, my mind, my stance on wanting to be here is still the same. But I just want to win more and more than anything, just have the opportunity to win.

“I gotta go home and see the first round of the playoffs, second round of the playoffs. It’s frustrating.”

Teammate Coby White was also open about what DeRozan has meant to him and the Bulls.

“That’s my dog, so whatever he want, I think he should get paid whatever he wants,” White told reporters after the loss to Miami. “It’ll be important for us to have him back. And me personally, I really want him back.”

DeRozan is eligible to sign a three-year, $130 million contract extension with the Bulls before free agency this offseason.

Bulls Face $172M Elephant in the Room

Bringing him back along with Patrick Williams would push the Bulls over the luxury tax threshold ($172 million). They would have to shed salary and Karnisovas said paying the tax only makes sense if they’re a top-four team.

Failed attempts to trade Zach LaVine figure to be revisited this offseason.

But there were plenty of almost contradictory statements in Karnisovas’ season-ending comments, including noting that the group had to change.

Bringing back DeRozan and Williams with Nikola Vucevic still under contract for two more years – combined with little to no looming changes to the front office or coaching staff – would seem to point to a similar outcome in 2024-25.

Perhaps that too is behind DeRozan’s trepidation to re-sign despite the mutual interest.