Bulls

Report: Bulls still trying to acquire DeRozan from Spurs

Bulls

The Chicago Bulls aren't finished making moves yet.

After an active Day 1 of free agency that saw them agree to terms with Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, the team has its sights set on acquiring four-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan from the San Antonio Spurs, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.

"The Bulls are swinging hard here," Windhorst said in a Tuesday appearance on Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin, mentioning the team's additions of Ball and Caruso before noting: "And I am told they are still trying to make DeRozan happen, which would be a sign-and-trade where they would send (restricted free agent) Lauri Markkanen to San Antonio and then DeMar DeRozan would come back in a double sign-and-trade to Chicago."

That follows a similar report from Windhorst on Monday — before free agency opened — that the Bulls were interested in a DeRozan-for-Markkanen swap. Markkanen has been linked to the Spurs in the past, though since the start of free agency, they have reportedly agreed to terms with sharp-shooting forward Doug McDermott and power forward/center Zach Collins.

Acquiring DeRozan, who turns 32 in August, via sign-and-trade would be complicated, which Windhorst also noted. The Bulls would need to ink him to a contract of either three or four seasons, per rules laid out in the CBA; the first year of any sign-and-trade contract must be fully guaranteed, but remaining seasons can be non-guaranteed.

 

Even three seasons removed from his last All-Star nod, DeRozan remains a productive offensive player. In 61 games for the Spurs last season, he averaged 21.6 points, a career-high 6.9 assists and shot 49.5 percent from the field while oscillating between the small and power forward slots — both areas of need for the wing-deprived Bulls. His playmaking and shot-creation would certainly aid the team's half court offense; his 7.2 free-throw attempts per game in 2020-21 would have led last season's Bulls, who ended the campaign dead last in the NBA in free-throw attempt rate, a dynamic Artūras Karnišovas cited as problematic during his end-of-season exit interview.

Questions regarding DeRozan's age, 3-point shooting (he hit 25.7 percent of his 3-point tries last year and has cleared 30 percent in only three of his 12 NBA seasons), ball-dominance and defensive aptitude all loom, especially given the likely cost it will take to acquire him.

But the Bulls are clearly at least intrigued by his fit with their roster. It would be the latest example of an aggressive, all-in move from this regime to push this team toward a return to the postseason.

UPDATE (2:05 p.m. CT): General manager Marc Eversley has been "instrumental" in the Bulls' pursuit of DeRozan, according to NBC Sports Chicago's K.C. Johnson.

UPDATE (1:47 p.m. CT): Yahoo! Sports' Chris Haynes is reporting that DeRozan and the Los Angeles Clippers are scheduled to meet Tuesday.

As Marc Stein notes: "Chicago has the sign-and-trade lure to entice San Antonio's buy-in with Lauri Markkanen, but the Bulls must convince DeRozan to choose them."

RELATED: NBA Free Agency: Grading Bulls’ moves from active Day 1

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