Executive Calls Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan a ‘Perfect Fit’ for East Title Hopeful

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

Getty DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls.

There is no consensus on what the Chicago Bulls (7-14) will do. But their “main” focus as an organization is finding a trade for Zach LaVine. They are facing a non-existent trade market for the two-time All-Star’s services, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

This is in part due to his contract. LaVine is in Year 2 of a five-year $215 million pact.

The Miami Heat, for one, are out on LaVine, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. But they may not necessarily be out on a trade with the Bulls.

“Of all the players out there people are floating for the Heat, they’re not close to doing anything now, but DeMar DeRozan would be the one that has legs,” an anonymous Eastern Conference executive said, per Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney on December 4. “He is as close to what they’re looking for as they’re going to find. Perfect fit, really.”

DeRozan, 34, is in the final year of a three-year, $81.9 million contract. He and the Bulls engaged in contract negotiations amid mutual interest. But talks have gone stale amid the Bulls’ sluggish start to the season.

A six-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection, DeRozan is averaging 21.5 points on 54.8% true shooting this season.

Both figures represent his lowest marks since the 2018-19 season.

DeMar DeRozan’s Trade Market Could Be Significant

DeRozan is a consummate professional which is part of the reason the Bulls have wanted to bring him back next season if possible. But he has also noted that a chance to win would factor into his decision on his next contract. And the Bulls were at least third on his list behind the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks on his list during free agency in 2021.

The Lakers are higher on a trade for DeRozan – and teammate Alex Caruso – than LaVine, per Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Meanwhile, the Knicks’ interest uncovered sentiments of the Bulls’ asking price being exorbitant and the guard’s preference to land elsewhere.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Heat – who made it to the NBA finals last season – and Knicks are both on DeRozan’s list of preferred destinations if he is traded.

The Bulls were linked to Heat guard Tyler Herro this past offseason.

Herro, 23, is in the first year of a four-year, $120 million contract. He is currently dealing with an ankle injury. But he is also averaging 22.9 points on 56.1% true shooting this season, adding 5.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.4 steals, and shooting a career-high 41.0% from deep across his eight appearances.

Proposed Trade Sends DeMar DeRozan to Heat for Kyle Lowry

“I don’t think the Bulls would do Tyler Herro’s contract for an expiring deal like DeRozan’s,” the executive continued, per Deveney. “But if it is [Kyle] Lowry and a first-round pick or Lowry and Nikola Jovic, now you’re in the neighborhood where Chicago could do something, add a long-term piece.”

Bulls get:

– Kyle Lowry
– Nikola Jovic (or first-round pick)

Heat get:

– DeMar DeRozan

Lowry and DeRozan are friends from their time as teammates with the Toronto Raptors. The 37-year-old Lowry is averaging 9.4 points, 4.3 assists, and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 44.4% from long distance.

He is in the last year of a three-year, $85 million contract.

Jovic was the No. 27 overall pick in 2022. He is averaging 4.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists and shooting 50% on thress in three appearances with the Heat this season.