DeMar DeRozan Seeks Championship Contender for Bulls Re-Signing

DeMar DeRozan demands championship-caliber roster from Bulls to re-sign as free agent. Frustrated by early playoff exits, he seeks to build a contender around his All-Star production and leadership.

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DeMar DeRozan Seeks Championship Contender for Bulls Re-Signing

DeMar DeRozan Seeks Championship Contender for Bulls Re-Signing

DeMar DeRozan, a six-time NBA All-Star set to enter his 16th season, has made it clear to the Chicago Bulls front office that he wants to see the team build a championship-contending roster in order for him to re-sign as a free agent this offseason. The Bulls have suffered back-to-back season-ending losses to the Miami Heat in the play-in tournament, and DeRozan is frustrated with the team's inability to compete at the highest level.

In Friday night's decisive 112-91 loss to the Heat, DeRozan led the Bulls with 22 points on 50% shooting. However, the rest of the team struggled offensively, with non-DeRozan players shooting a combined 35.5% from the field. The Heat, led by Tyler Herro's 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists, earned a first-round playoff matchup against the top-seeded Boston Celtics.

DeRozan, who turns 35 in August, has held up his end of the bargain since joining the Bulls in 2021, averaging 25.5 points on 49.6% shooting along with 5.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game. He finished second in the league in clutch points this season and led the NBA in minutes played at age 34. The Bulls have expressed mutual interest in re-signing DeRozan, valuing his on-court production and leadership for their young players.

Why this matters: DeRozan's free agency decision could have significant implications for the Bulls' future competitiveness and ability to attract other star players. As a respected veteran and perennial All-Star, DeRozan's presence on a contending team could make them a more appealing destination for other top talents looking to win a championship.

Despite the Bulls' early-season success when healthy, DeRozan pointed to injuries as a key factor in derailing their competitiveness. "The first half of the season, we was the number one team in the East. We was playing well, we was winning games, we was healthy," DeRozan said. "After that, a lot of things just didn't go our way."

The Bulls front office, led by Arturas Karnisovas, faces pressure to build a championship-caliber team around DeRozan. Since Karnisovas and head coach Billy Donovan were hired in 2020, the Bulls have won only one playoff game. Questions surround the futures of key players like Zach LaVine, who is recovering from season-ending foot surgery, and Nikola Vucevic. As an unrestricted free agent, DeRozan can sign an extension worth up to $130 million over three years before entering the open market.

Key Takeaways

  • DeRozan wants Bulls to build championship-contending roster to re-sign as FA
  • Bulls suffered back-to-back play-in tournament losses to Heat, frustrating DeRozan
  • DeRozan has been productive, leading Bulls in clutch points and minutes played
  • Bulls face pressure to build around DeRozan, who can sign 3-year, $130M extension
  • DeRozan's free agency decision could impact Bulls' future competitiveness and star appeal