Rival exec foolishly believes Bulls should trade DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images) /

When the Chicago Bulls first executed a sign-and-trade for DeMar DeRozan, critics hated the move and called it the worst acquisition of the offseason. By January, they were giving DeRozan MVP votes. By the end of the playoffs, they were right back to calling him an overrated choker.

If I’ve learned anything over the last year, it’s that trying to pin down the fickle media’s exact opinions of DeRozan is a frustrating task. One thing’s remained constant, however, and it’s their narrow-minded criticism of DeRozan’s game instead of appreciating his greatness and growth as a player.

They said DeRozan can’t create for his teammates, so when he developed his playmaking in San Antonio they said he can’t shoot. But when DeMar posted career-highs in three-point percentage and offensive efficiency stats, they said he’s not a winner. When he hit back-to-back game-winning shots to claim the first seed in the East on New r’s Day, they said he was a playoff choker. Then he went and dropped 41 points on the greatest player in the world in the first round, despite the fact his supporting cast was completely depleted.

There are no bounds to the limits people will go to discredit DeRozan’s greatness. The man just had the best season of his career at 32 years old, and now you’re telling me that people think he should be traded?

Heavy.com’s Sean Deveny reports that one rival Eastern Conference executive believes DeRozan may not be as untouchable as he seems. If things don’t pan out for the Bulls this season, he’s sure to attract a fair bit of attention, whether Chicago wants it or not.

"“If this season starts the way last season ended,” the executive tells Heavy’s Sean Deveney, “there is a chance the Bulls could explore all options. And you’d get some good offers. Teams like the Knicks or Dallas or Portland, certainly Miami, they’d give up pieces and picks for a player like DeRozan.”"

Trading DeMar DeRozan away this season would be a colossal mistake and admittance of failure for the Chicago Bulls.

While I understand the thought process here, I’m not sure that cutting ties with DeRozan even if things sour would be a good move. After being selected to the All-NBA team in just a single season with the Bulls, DeMar has cemented himself in the conversation with Pau Gasol as the greatest free agent signing in franchise history. Moving on from him now would make the Chicago Bulls look untrustworthy and a risky destination to potential free agents in future negotiations.

Even if the Bulls are bad next season — which, let’s be honest, they shouldn’t be — there’s still no incentive to trade DeRozan. The Orlando Magic own Chicago’s first-round pick in next summer’s draft, so sending DeMar away in an effort to intentionally make the team worse would have no effect.

That pick is top-four protected, but with so many teams preparing for the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes, there’s virtually no chance Chicago’s record is bad enough to give hope of a win in the lottery. This would also require the Bulls to miss the playoffs in the first place, which would be a worst-case scenario for the fans.

With so many questions surrounding this roster, letting things pan out and re-evaluating in the offseason seems like the best course of action. That includes deciding what to do about DeRozan as he enters the final year of his contract in 2023-24.

Ultimately, there’s no telling who this anonymous source is. They certainly aren’t a member of Chicago’s front office, as the Bulls have staked their future in DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, and Lonzo Ball by making aggressive trades to acquire each of the trio. The Bulls have played their hand and are sticking to it, now we wait to see if anyone at the poker table has it beat.

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