The Chicago Bulls’ disappointing 7-14 start to the season has put the team in a complicated position. Many fans are calling for a rebuild, wanting to trade away the expensive contract guys like Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan, the Bulls’ primary star for the past three years, has expressed his opinion on his preferred trade destinations. Where will the 15-year veteran fit, and can the Bulls acquire a decent haul for the aging star?
The Preferred Trade Destinations for This Chicago Bulls Star
Before DeRozan joined the Bulls a few seasons ago, rumors of him joining LeBron James in Los Angeles were abundant. The DeRozan era in Chicago began after the Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook instead. Fast forward to now, as the Bulls explore trading DeRozan, the Lakers are reportedly again interested in acquiring the veteran forward.
However, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Los Angeles is no longer on DeRozan’s radar. Instead, he is reportedly interested in two teams: the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks.
DeRozan to South Beach
The Heat have had a decent start to the season behind excellent play by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. A result of their failure to acquire Damian Lillard this past offseason has been the ongoing Tyler Herro tension. The Lillard saga for the Heat didn’t exactly lead to an unwavering sense of loyalty between Herro and Miami. Acquiring DeRozan via trade would probably mean the Heat would have to send Herro to Chicago. Because of DeRozan’s expiring contract, Chicago probably wouldn’t be able to get much more than Herro and some picks.
DeRozan would make sense next to Butler, acting as a costar and taking over games when Butler isn’t. Under the system of Erik Spoelstra, DeRozan would give this already-solid Miami team greater chances to return to the NBA Finals. And vice versa, DeRozan could make it to the Finals for the first time in his career.
DeRozan in the Big Apple
The star’s other preferred trade destination is New York, where he would join Jalen Brunson and company in their hopes to put the Knicks into title contention. The Knicks look to build upon the success of last season, where they won their first playoff series in a decade. Adding DeRozan means adding another consistent scorer and offensive weapon next to an elite point guard in Brunson. DeRozan could also serve as a mentor to help RJ Barrett continue to mold and develop his game.
Again, due to DeRozan’s contract, the Knicks wouldn’t have to give up anything too consequential. Chicago would surely aim to acquire potential Sixth-Man-of-the-Year Immanuel Quickley or, if they’re bold, Barrett, but New York would be foolish to consider either option. DeRozan becomes a free agent next offseason, so trading away valuable young pieces would be unwise and probably unnecessary. A more realistic trade package would be some combination of Evan Fournier’s larger-than-life contract, Quentin Grimes, and some second-round picks.
The Last Word: Either Way, Chicago Has to Trade DeRozan
Whether it’s to Miami or New York, Chicago finds itself in a spot where trading DeRozan is absolutely necessary. The hopes of him re-signing in Chicago are dying quickly as the Bulls remain mediocre. Although his trade value isn’t as high as Chicago would like, receiving something rather than letting him walk in free agency for nothing is the wiser option.
DeRozan is averaging 21.5 points, 4.9 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game on 45.6% shooting from the field and 37.5% from three. He is a dependable veteran scorer and heightens the competing chances of any contending team.