In one of very few silver linings to the Chicago Bulls 2022-23 season, DeMar DeRozan‘s selection to the All-Star Team as a reserve has been a welcome distraction from the team’s struggling season. This marks his sixth trip to the All-Star Game, adding to an impressive resume that includes over 20,000 points and three All-NBA selections. He joins a collection of the East’s best talent in Joel Embiid, Tyrese Haliburton, Jaylen Brown, Julius Randle, Bam Adebayo, and Jrue Holiday as a reserve.
After finishing 4th in the player’s vote (more than any reserve outside of Jaylen Brown) and garnering the 6th most fan votes, it was always obvious that DeMar is highly regarded around the league. It was the fact that not a single member of the media cast a vote for him that ultimately dragged DeRozan down and left people skeptical over his All-Star odds. Despite the Bulls not being very good this season, opposing coaches clearly possess a lot of respect for DeMar’s game and were always going to vote in his favor.
After hearing this news, Bulls radio play-by-play commentator Chuck Swirsky got me thinking about whether or not induction to the Hall of Fame may one day be the last chapter in DeMar’s basketball story.
After two consecutive All-Star seasons with the Chicago Bulls, DeMar DeRozan deserves to go down as a Hall of Famer when he finally retires.
According to Basketball Reference’s Hall of Fame Probability Tracker, Derozan entered the season with a 22% chance to qualify for the Hall of Fame (if he were to retire today). This ranks him 22nd among all active players, which honestly feels quite low considering his accomplishments in the league.
Nevertheless, another dominant season at age 33 with a sixth All-Star appearance will surely help increase his odds. Currently holding the 40th most total points ever scored in the NBA, it feels a bit ridiculous to not have DeMar up there with the all-time greats. If he continues to score in excess of 1500+ points each season — a feat he’s achieved and far exceeded in seven of the last eight years — he will surpass legends like Larry Bird and Clyde Drexler and break into the top 25 within the next 3 years.
Of course, some fans would claim their players were snubbed from this year’s All-Star Game and DeMar did not deserve the honor. Among the most discussed snubs in the East are James Harden, Pascal Siakam, Trae Young, and Jalen Brunson, three of whom all qualify as guards and share that designation with DeRozan.
A few of my FanSided colleagues pleaded their case as to why their own players deserved to qualify in DeMar’s place — including Mike Luciano at Raptors Rapture and Christopher Kline of The Sixer Sense — but I will, unfortunately, have to rebuke their claims here.
I already ran through the numbers in anticipation of this a week ago following Inside the NBA‘s expert picks, and I have to say I still believe DeRozan has just narrowly edged out the competition and deserves his place at this year’s All-Star festivities. Now I do believe there’s a strong case that one of these players should have supplanted Jrue Holiday on the team, but for now, I’ll just take comfort knowing DeMar DeRozan has received his dues and has taken one step closer to being forever enshrined in the Naismith Hall of Fame.