The Eastern Conference may have another power player, as the Chicago Bulls continue to make aggressive moves in their quest to build a contender. They landed Lonzo Ball on the first day of free agency and then DeMar Derozan on Tuesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
The Athletic's Shams Charania reports it is a sign-and-trade deal that will send Thaddeus Young, a future first round pick and two second round picks to the Spurs. DeRozan, who turns 32 next week, will make $85 million over three years. He joins a Bulls team that was the first team out of the play-in tournament last season in the East, but figures to be much-improved going into the 2021-22 campaign.
DeRozan is three seasons removed from being a perennial All-Star with the Raptors, but is still productive, having averaged 21.6 points and a career-high 6.9 assists last season in San Antonio. He is now in a talented mix in Chicago that includes Ball, Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, Patrick Williams and Coby White.
They also signed Alex Caruso away from the Lakers on Monday. And they have the Bird Rights for restricted free agent Lauri Markkanen.
The Bulls haven't made the playoffs since 2017 but appear intent on ending that streak sooner than later. They continue to deal future first round picks to build their roster, having given up two of them to the Magic to trade for Vucevic in March.
Chicago revamped its front office last summer by bringing in Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley to be the team's architects. They have shifted the franchise from a rebuild through the draft to a win-now approach.
It's aggressive and it's risky, but clearly the Bulls want to win and they are willing to gamble to make it happen.