Possible DeMar DeRozan trade partner for the Chicago Bulls?

New Orleans Pelicans v Chicago Bulls
New Orleans Pelicans v Chicago Bulls / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages
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We’ll know which direction the Chicago Bulls are going this offseason by what they do with free agent DeMar DeRozan. 

Bringing him back is an indication that Chicago will stubbornly refuse to rebuild and continue to try and be competitive with the team it has, as they’d have little cap space wriggle room without trading Zach LaVine. 

Going into the luxury tax for a 39-win team doesn’t sound like the smartest financial decision, but that’s exactly what will happen if they run it back with their current roster. 

Should the Chicago Bulls run it back? 

Most fans are ready for the Bulls to rebuild this summer, but I wouldn’t count on that happening and there’s an argument it shouldn’t. 

If Lonzo Ball returns and Zach LaVine is healthy, the Bulls could compete in an Eastern Conference that is wide open behind the Boston Celtics. After next season the Bulls will be off Lonzo’s deal, LaVine’s will be easier to move, and they’d potentially have DeRozan as a trade asset on an expiring deal. 

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That is a lot of “ifs” and hope put in guys who have rarely rewarded it. 

But if the Bulls are determined not to tear it down completely, they could try and sign-and-trade DeRozan, which is possible given that he is still a very productive and durable player even though he’s approaching 35 years old, this is especially true if the Bulls can sign him to a short-term deal that won’t represent any long-term financial problems for the team that takes him. 

One team to keep an eye on this summer is the New Orleans Pelicans, who like the Bulls, are at a crossroads and may look to make a big move. 

There is one clear sign-and-trade option with the Pels, but it is fraught with challenges.