Bulls reportedly offer former All-Star $80 million over two years.
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Bulls reportedly offer Former All-Star $80 million over two years.

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According to K.C. Johnson of NBC Chicago, the Chicago Bulls have offered former All-Star DeMar DeRozan a two-season deal worth up to $80 million.

If so, that would be a sizable short-term paycheck for the soon-to-be 35-year-old, whose effect has dwindled – however slightly – in recent years.

But is that the best way forward for the Bulls, who have yet to make the playoffs and have appeared jaded and boring in recent years?

In a vacuum, there is an argument for DeRozan receiving such a contract. Aside from being a high-level player (24.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists), he’s a great locker room presence who is known for taking younger players under his wing.

The Bulls, who are reportedly open to changing their organizational strategy, may elect to invest in DeRozan as both a player and a mentor, justifying such a contract figure. Because, at the end of the day, how can you put a price on a professional locker room where newbies are encouraged and supported by their elders?

The question is, why should DeRozan stick with a team that may be attempting to become younger? If the answer is financial compensation, the Bulls should go for it and keep him around to help their young core and the additional young players who will join them over the next few seasons.

However, there may be some issues with that setup.

DeRozan’s impact on winning remains positive. That’s certainly not a bad thing, but for a Bulls squad in desperate need of a makeover, it may keep them out of the deep lottery next year, when Duke forward Cooper Flagg is ready to make his NBA debut.

That is not to say the Bulls would sign him, even though they have the league’s worst record. However, you cannot win the lottery unless you play, and the better the odds, the more likely you are to wind up with a player of significant caliber, which is in limited supply in Chicago these days.

The Bulls find themselves in an unusual predicament in which they are moving in many directions at once.

They’ve sought to trade Zach LaVine since the beginning of the season, but to no effect. Nikola Vučević will turn 34 at the start of next season and is just in the second year of his contract deal. Coby White, 24, recently emerged as a fringe All-Star player, and the team is now considering re-signing DeRozan, who is set to turn 35.

Chicago is basically all over the place, with no clear short- or long-term plan, so signing DeRozan to a new contract would be a little premature until a new path has been established.

Of course, the Bulls have done nothing to demonstrate that they are forward-thinking or capable of planning beyond a single season. If they continue this trend, it will be welcomed by all 29 front offices across the league, who will no longer have to waste time planning for the Bulls to be successful.

 

 

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