Western Conference Foe Could Trade for Bulls Star, Says Insider

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

Getty DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls reacts to action on the court.

It has not been the rough start for the Chicago Bulls many forecasters may have anticipated based on their fade in the second half of last season. To the contrary, they have overcome many of their purported shortcomings – lack of size and three-point shooting – with strong group effort.

They already have quality wins over the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, and Miami Heat.

But that does not mean that trade speculation or warnings of a slide into the NBA’s basement – and even into tank mode.

Tanking might be a stretch, but other teams having an eye on Bulls players is probably not, especially when it comes to the likes of DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine; two players at the top of their games despite the age difference. DeRozan is five years LaVine’s senior but he could draw the attention of his hometown team once again.

Lakers Could Target DeRozan

During an appearance on ESPN with Ohm Youngmisuk, Dave McMenamin delved into whether or not the Los Angeles Lakers (2-5) are trending in the right direction under first-year head coach Darvin Ham.

The conversation then turned to trade talk with the Lakers perpetually linked to any number of available talent at any given moment.

But McMenamin speculated that the Lakers are waiting for some new talent to enter the pool.

“What the Lakers want to happen is new people enter into the conversation,” McMenamin told Youngmisuk. “Perhaps the Chicago Bulls. Maybe DeMar DeRozan gets his wish and ends up on the L.A. Lakers a year and a half afterwards because the Bulls recognize they are not going to get anything this season because of injuries.”

There are some bits of truth in McMenamin’s estimation of the Lakers’ options ahead of or nearer to the trade deadline in February.

DeRozan did plan on joining the Lakers as a free agent before signing with the Bulls.

But he also acknowledged that they opted to trade for Russell Westbrook instead – a move they are currently trying to find ways to manage and, ultimately, get out from under be it this season or next summer.

DeRozan Sees R-E-D

The five-time All-Star has since deeply engrained himself into the fabric of Chicago sports culture while helping lift a moribund franchise back into relevance and even prominence. He has made it clear how much he is enjoying his time in Chicago as well.

DeRozan knows the significance of being successful for the city and organization.

Most importantly, he and the 5-4 Bulls are also off to a decent start despite dealing with injuries.

Lonzo Ball is out for the foreseeable future leaving the Bulls without their starting point guard for what will have been a year by the time he is expected to return. But second-year guard Ayo Dosunmu has been a revelation while growing leaps and bounds individually.

They have also managed LaVine who, like Ball, is recovering from a procedure on his knee performed over the summer.

“I can’t tell you how many times I talked to him this summer just checking on him,” DeRozan said during the Bulls’ media day. “I want to be with a healthy Zach. A full year of that is something I dream about every single night. A healthy Zach makes our lives a lot easier.”

Bulls Navigating Inconsistency

LaVine missed the first two games of the season before sitting out the front end of a back-to-back against the San Antonio Spurs. He returned for a tilt against the Philadelphia 76ers and just completed his first back-to-back of the season.

The Bulls have gone 1-2 in those games and 4-2 with LaVine in the lineup.

That includes the wins over the Celtics and Brooklyn Nets the latter of which saw LaVine dominate late.

But, contrary to McMenamin’s point, the Bulls are far from looking to be sellers – as most teams are at this early juncture of the season. And, given what he has meant to the franchise already, it is hard to see them parting with DeRozan – who has one year left on his contract after this one – for a deal that would mean they have to take back (or find a taker for) Westbrook.

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