Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan Predicted to Sign 3-Year, $90 Million Contract

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

Getty DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls’ entire offseason plan likely hinges on what DeMar DeRozan plans to do.

If he leaves for a new team in free agency, the Bulls could be forced to rebuild. They have resisted that path. DeRozan is finishing a three-year, $81.9 million contract. He is eligible to sign a three-year, $129.7 million contract extension before June 30, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks on June 14.

But Marks – who spent years as an executive with the Brooklyn Nets – predicts a “compromise” deal. It would give the six-time All-Star a nearly $9 million raise.

“A three-year, $90 million contract is a compromise from the player and his next team, likely Chicago,” Marks wrote on June 17. “DeRozan gets an extra $9 million more than his most recent contract, and the $27.7 million salary in the first year is less than 20% of the salary cap. The team gets protection in the third season in that $15 million out of the $32 million is guaranteed.

“The contract would become fully guaranteed if DeRozan plays a minimum of 65 games and Chicago reaches the first round of the playoffs in 2024-25 or 2025-26.”

DeRozan, 34, could consider the games played guarantees as “likely.”

He has shown remarkable durability, appearing in no fewer than 61 games in any season of his 14-year career. That includes logging at least 74 appearances in each of his three seasons with the Bulls.

DeRozan has said that he wants to return, though he expressed frustration with constantly missing out on the playoffs.

DeRozan made six straight postseason appearances from 2013-14 through 2018-19.

He has been to the playoffs just once since then. That was in 2021-22 when the Bulls got off to a hot start but faltered going into the All-Star break. They have been a Play-In Tournament team in each of the last two seasons.

Continuing his union with the Bulls could be both a matter of desire and finances, as Marks explained the landscape favors his return.

DeMar DeRozan’s Free Agency Outlook Clouded by Cash-Strapped Market

“Unfortunately, outside of re-signing in Chicago with Bird rights, there are only five teams with room, including two, Detroit and Utah, who are rebuilding,” Marks wrote. “Oklahoma City and Orlando could also benefit from his scoring and leadership, but is either team willing to commit three seasons and an average of $30 million per season? The likely answer is no.”

The Bulls have several items on their to-do list.

But letting DeRozan walk in free agency could fall under a similar category as Nikola Vucevic last offseason. Then, General Manager Marc Eversley admitted they explored their options including letting Vucevic leave in free agency. They concluded he was their best choice.

Vucevic received a three-year, $60 million contract before free agency in 2023. The pact received backlash for being over market value.

The Bulls can begin negotiating with DeRozan’s camp again as soon as the NBA Finals conclude.

“The sticking point between the two sides has long been the parameters of a deal, both the amount of money and the length of the contract,” The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry wrote on June 4. “The Bulls would be happy to re-sign DeRozan on a two-year deal. DeRozan’s side obviously would covet more security. The Bulls have a habit of liberally latching player options into contracts so that carrot could come into play with DeRozan’s deal as well.

“The dollar amount will be hefty, likely north of $40 million annually, but is less significant to the Bulls’ long-term flexibility. Chicago wants to keep DeRozan but at a reasonable commitment.”

DeRozan also rejected a previous offer from the Bulls, potentially worth up to $40 million annually, per NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson in April.

LA Teams Could Lurk as Threats to Lure DeMar DeRozan From Bulls in Free Agency

Marks notes that DeRozan would be a “perfect fit” for either of the teams in Los Angeles, the Clippers and Lakers in free agency. DeRozan has said that he could “never” rule out playing for his hometown team. He has also said he didn’t feel it was a necessary milestone.

Marks also noted that they would need to orchestrate sign-and-trades to make a deal work. The Bulls would have to take back salary in that scenario.

All of that only further clouds DeRozan’s market in free agency beyond the Bulls.