HomeBasketball TodayDeMar DeRozan delivers a scorching warning to Bulls front office before free...

DeMar DeRozan delivers a scorching warning to Bulls front office before free agency


DeMar DeRozan made it clear to the Bulls front office what he wants to see for him to consider re-signing in free agency.

It has been a disappointing past two seasons for the Chicago Bulls. In 2022, it appeared as though they were on the rise, making the playoffs as the six-seed with 46 wins. The Bulls, however, were unable to keep up that pace. In the two years since, the Bulls have seen their season come to an end at the hands of the Miami Heat, taking two season-ending play-in tournament losses in a row. In fact, their latest defeat was not competitive at all, as Miami took an early lead en route to a 112-91 demolition of Chicago.

Heading into the offseason, the Bulls front office will have plenty of questions to answer regarding the direction of the franchise — with one of those being DeMar DeRozan‘s future. DeRozan has already fanned the flames of speculation; following their loss to the Heat, the 34-year old guard revealed what matters the most to him as he decides what path to take once he hits free agency in July.

“The next time I play a game will be my 16th season. You realize the window closes for you personally. I ain’t trying to play 25 years. I wanna have the opportunity to give everything great in you. My stance on wanting to be here is still the same but I just want to win,” DeRozan said in his postgame presser, via NBA TV on Twitter (X).

Read also:   CJ McCollum Delivers Clutch Analysis on Pelicans' Struggles, Setting Stage for Epic Rematch with Lakers

“More than anything, just have the opportunity win and not, you know, gotta go home and see the first round of the playoffs, the second round… it’s frustrating.”

Can the Bulls give what DeMar DeRozan wants?

DeMar DeRozan hasn’t been a part of a top-tier team since his days with the Toronto Raptors; now, DeRozan is racing against time in his quest to win a championship. The 34-year old guard said that he wants to stay with the Bulls, but he also wants to win — can he do both?

The Bulls can still offer the most money to DeRozan in free agency since they have his Bird rights, so that will play a factor in convincing him to re-sign. But the veteran also said that he wants Chicago to build a team that has a chance to win big.

“[I want to see] a team that gives us a chance to make a run. Putting a team on the floor that we can go out there and compete with teams, and not just fight for a play-in game,” DeRozan added, per Jamal Collier of ESPN.

At the very least, the Bulls have a few pieces in place to make DeMar DeRozan’s dream a reality. Coby White, despite his disappointing showing in their play-in loss vs. the Heat, improved massively, and he’s only 24 years old. Alex Caruso embodies a winning style of basketball. Zach LaVine should be back healthier next season.

Read also:   Kuminga sidelined as knee troubles linger, missing clash against Rockets

But the winning foundation of the Bulls team is rather barebones. Will Chicago prefer to finally face the music and blow it up?

Is this the end of the “Big 3” era in the Windy City?

The Bulls’ ceiling with the core of DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic was always going to be capped at, perhaps, a second-round exit at best. But injury woes have accelerated the team’s downfall, and their outlook remains increasingly bleak if they keep living in denial and trying to remain semi-competitive with those three players.

Something has to give for the Bulls; barring an unforeseen trade for a major superstar, the Bulls look like they’ll be poised to live in purgatory for next season as well. A departure from DeRozan via free agency, will end up making the team even worse as well.

They have rejected opportunities to hit the reset button, preferring to hold on to their key guys even though their performance has been middling at best. Nonetheless, there is a bit of value in remaining in the middle.

After all, there are no guarantees that bottoming out will yield positive results. The Detroit Pistons have shown that having a few lottery picks in consecutive years isn’t a surefire way to return to contention. Remaining semi-competitive means that the Bulls can then trade whatever assets they have on the roster for needle-moving pieces if the opportunity arises.

The 2021-22 season, at least, delivered entertainment for a Bulls franchise that hasn’t had much hope since embarking on a rebuild back in 2017. That alone makes this era of Bulls basketball a bit worth it, especially for fans of Lonzo Ball. But it’s not a stretch to say that this roster has reached its ceiling and that major changes may be afoot.

Read also:   Looney's Playoff Positivity: Embracing Bench Leadership with the Warriors


Source link


Also Read