3 Teams That Could Steal DeMar DeRozan Away From the Bulls This Offseason

Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls
Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

Since signing with the Chicago Bulls for three years and $81.9M in 2021, DeMar DeRozan has without a doubt been the MVP of the Bulls. In his three seasons with Chicago, DeRozan has been important to the play of the team and a great mentor to several players including Coby White and Ayo Dosumnu.

He's been an All-Star in two of his three seasons with the team and has proven he still has plenty to give as he finishes year 15. As his contract comes to an end this offseason, DeRozan is set to become an unrestricted free agent.

With the Bulls not trading him during the run of his contract and the team re-signing other star players on the team, it looks like Chicago will do whatever they can to keep him, including overpaying him.

In a report from The Athletic's Sam Amick, a source close to DeRozan's situation has said he has been happy in Chicago and would like to return if the money is right. With this likely being his last big contract and chance to win a championship, there are several contenders with money that could sway him away from the Bulls this offseason.

1. Los Angeles Lakers

DeMar DeRozan
Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Lakers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Prior to signing with the Bulls in 2021, DeMar thought he was going to be a Laker. In 2021, DeRozan spoke with Yahoo Sports following a win over the Los Angeles Lakers:

"I felt like going to the Lakers was a done deal and that we were going to figure it out. I was going to come home. The business side of things just didn’t work out. A couple of things didn’t align. It didn’t work out. It’s just part of the business, part of the game. My next option was definitely Chicago. So, looking back at it, it worked out well.


DeMar DeRozan

That summer, the Lakers would end up trading for Russell Westbrook, a trade that would ultimately backfire for the team. DeRozan has spoken with LeBron in the past about playing together and he has been linked to the team at the last few deadlines.

The Lakers have had a rough couple of seasons, missing the playoffs in the 2021-22 season and being hampered by injuries. Even after making the Western Conference Finals last season, the Lakers still feel like they are a piece or two short of being a legitimate championship contender.

If DeRozan were to sign with the Lakers, he would not be getting the max contract many believe he will be getting this offseason. To join L.A., he would more than likely be signing a mid-level exception giving the team is expected to be over the salary cap.

While the money is not the greatest, DeRozan would have a great chance to win a championship alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis (unless he were to leave this offseason). More importantly for DeRozan, he would be playing for his hometown team.

In L.A., DeRozan would not have to be the number one option playing alongside LeBron and Davis, something that has had its effect on him, especially this season. While L.A. can not give DeRozan the money he has earned, the Lakers offer much more than just money.

2. Philadelphia 76ers

Demar Derozan, Tyrese Maxey
Chicago Bulls v Philadelphia 76ers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Before the trade deadline this season, many believed the Bulls would blow up the team and look to rebuild. For the third season in a row, the Bulls did not make any trades. DeRozan was one of the biggest players on the team and expected to be traded before his contract ended, but Chicago kept him as a part of their "continuity".

One of the teams that was linked to DeRozan was the Philadelphia 76ers. Post James Harden trade, Philly has been linked to numerous upcoming free agents and disgruntled players, including DeMar's teammate Zach Lavine. With the team expected to have over $50M in cap space, the Sixers want to add another star next to Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.

Recent Rumors have suggested that the Sixers are interested in star forward Paul George. In Los Angeles, Kawhi Leonard has signed an extension with the Sixers and it is expected the team will work out a deal with James Harden this summer.

At this time, Paul George has not opted into his $48.8M player option for the 2024-25 season. Reports throughout the season have noted that the Clippers and George are apart on contract talks with the Clippers' playoff run this postseason likely being the deciding factor in his free agency decision.

If the Sixers do not land Paul George, DeMar DeRozan would be a great pivot for the team. In February, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski spoke on The Woj Pod saying “DeMar DeRozan is a player they’ve talked about – not so much today – but in previous days.”

DeRozan would be a great fit alongside Embiid and Maxey, another team with legitimate championship aspirations. He would give the Sixers another scoring option alongside the two stars.

This season has shown that Embiid's play has had its effects on him, resulting in a meniscus injury that kept him out for two months. Adding DeRozan as a third star and scoring option would take some of the scoring demand off of Embiid, giving him more rest ahead of a playoff run and less stress in the clutch.

With Tyrese Maxey set to earn a big extension after next season, it's likely the Sixers would not offer DeRozan a max contract as the the focus is to build a legit contender around Embiid. A contract would be less than what the Bulls could offer, but more importantly, they offer the 15-year veteran a chance at a championship.

If he re-signs with the Sixers this season, DeMar would also be able to reunite with longtime teammate Kyle Lowry, who he played six seasons with in Toronto. Philly would not only be able to offer more money than the Lakers, but a potential run to the championship in the Eastern Conference.

3. Miami Heat

Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan
Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

One under-the-radar team linked to DeRozan around the 2024 trade deadline was the Miami Heat. DeMar would not only be another embodiment of "Heat Culture", but would also give Miami another star to add alongside Jimmer Butler and Bam Adebayo.

On his podcast earlier this season ahead of the trade deadline, prominent sports media personality Bill Simmons spoke on a hypothetical trade between the Bulls and Heat. The trade saw the Bulls trade DeRozan and Alex Caruso for Tyler Herro, a pick, and potential role player.

Since the Bulls did not trade DeRozan at the deadline, joining the Heat would likely be via a sign-and-trade. The player coming back would more than likely be Tyler Herro, who would be a great piece alongside Coby White and Ayo Dosumnu.

While they haven't been a great regular-season team, Miami is always one of the most fierce teams in the playoffs. One of the best clutch players in the league, DeRozan would be a great player for Miami to have as they continue to make deep playoff runs year after year. In this scenario, Chicago would have to embrace the rebuild, letting go of DeRozan.

There would be some issues with DeRozan joining the Heat, mainly spacing issues. But even with DeRozan and Butler playing the same style, Miami still has a stacked team. With a roster including Terry Rozier, Caleb Martin, Duncan Robinson, and Jaime Jaquez Jr, adding DeRozan would only make the Heat a more legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference come playoff time.