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Chicago Bulls Star Wants To Remain With Franchise, Is That The Best For The Bulls?

The Chicago Bulls have several key decisions to make this offseason. While the Bulls faced the same problem a year ago, they decided to run things back for one more season, which could happen again. One star player recently reiterated his desire to remain with the franchise for the foreseeable future.

DeMar DeRozan reiterated to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago on Thursday morning his desire to sign an extension with the Bulls before his contract runs out on June 30.

This is where I want to be.  … I love ownership. I love everything about the city and the franchise, top to bottom—the front office, the staff we have. It’s one of those places that gives me motivation to see everybody get what they deserve and feel what winning is like again.”

“You watch me, how hard I play, how hard I want to give success to this organization, this city, that’s my main focal point. I always want to finish a job. The last couple years have been tough with injuries and so many ups and downs. But I always want to weather the storm and stick through whatever situation it is to make the most out of it, to make it even better. That’s always been my mindset and it’s my mindset going forward. How can I be here and make this a winning organization like when I first came?”

Chicago Bulls Star Wants To Remain With Franchise, Is That The Best For The Bulls?

This is not the first time DeRozan has maintained his desire to stay in Chicago, as he has done so throughout the season. The Bulls have indicated that they intend to keep the 34-year-old onboard, but no deal has been reached yet, leaving his future in doubt.

DeRozan has been fabulous for the Bulls since they acquired him in a sign-and-trade worth $81.9 million over three years from San Antonio. He has been selected for the all-star team twice and has been one of the best clutch players in the league during this stretch.

DeRozan, who has played in at least 74 games in each of his three seasons with the Bulls, is having another stellar season. He has produced seven double-doubles and averages 23.9 points, 5.3 assists, and 4.3 rebounds while playing a league-high 37.7 minutes a game. He also is compiling a shooting slash line of .480/.330/.854.

The Bulls Over The Last 3 Years

Chicago has been plagued by injuries throughout these past three years. Lonzo Ball has only played 35 games, while Zach LaVine will miss 77 contests during this stretch by the end of the regular season, including 57 this year. Meanwhile, Patrick Williams has missed 104 games over the last three years, with all the absences coming in 2021-22 and 2023-24.

Still, Chicago made the playoffs in 2021-2022, snapping a four-year drought. The Bulls have registered 124 wins over the past three seasons and made the play-in tournament last season.

The Bulls have clinched the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference and have a 38-42 record heading into the final weekend. They are in Washington tonight and New York on Sunday.

Here is the thing: it is possible that Chicago won’t make it out of the 9-10 play-in Tournament as they will host the Atlanta Hawks. The Bulls have won two of the three games with the Hawks this season, but both victories came before the all-star break. The Hawks defeated the Bulls 113-101 earlier this month.

Even if Chicago gets past Atlanta, the Bulls will have to face Philadelphia or Miami for the last playoff spot, which would be a tough task even if the Bulls were healthy. If they get out of the play-in, the Boston Celtics will be waiting for them in the opening round.

So, let’s say that Chicago gets by Miami and falls in the eighth-place play-in game. That would mean that the Bulls would only have three postseason wins (two being play-in victories) while all five losses (four to Milwaukkee in 2021-22 first round) are by at least seven points, including four by double-digits.

What Should The Bulls Do This Offseason

While there have been mitigating circumstances, Chicago’s three-year run with DeRozan has been mediocre at best. If the Bulls win their two remaining regular-season games, they would finish this three-year regular season run two games above .500.  They are also 2-5 in the postseason.

In order for Chicago to get out of NBA purgatory, Bulls Insider Joe Crowley of the Chicago Sun-Times believes that the Bulls should completely start over.

“Let DeMar DeRozan finish his Hall of Fame career elsewhere, try to move Nikola Vucevic, give LaVine away for bad contracts, even explore what [Coby] White and [Ayo] Dosunmu would bring back on the market.

This is not about the 2024 draft, a class that barely moves the needle.

This is about making sure to keep the 2025 top-10-protected pick out of the Spurs’ hands and Karnisovas giving himself the best odds of landing Duke-bound Cooper Flagg.

Even if the Bulls miss out on Flagg in ’25, Ace Bailey, Dylan Harper, VJ Edgecombe are there. The class appears to be loaded.”


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