DeMar DeRozan is a player that could be a factor, “directly or tangentially” in James Harden or Damian Lillard’s situations, according to one NBA insider.
The 34-year-old is in the final year of his contract with the Bulls worth $28.6 million and could sign an extension, but would likely need to take a significant pay cut.
“They’re not shopping him now, and they’d be open to an extension, if it makes sense,” one league executive told Heavy Sports. “But if we get to Vegas [the NBA’s in-season tournament in Las Vegas in early December] and they’re still around .500, and DeMar wants $30 or $35 million, that’s when they’re going to start having (trade) conversations.”
Now where do Harden and Lillard come into this?
“DeRozan could be the piece that allows the Sixers to save face in the James Harden saga,” Sean Deveney reports. “The Bulls do not necessarily have interest in Harden, but DeRozan would at least be a star-caliber guy who could be sent to Philadelphia, a tough-minded veteran who might fit well between Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid. His age would be a hindrance, but DeRozan can still play.”
As for DeMar’s involvement with Lillard, one league executive believes that the Heat will want to add even more fire power to their arsenal if they do end up landing Dame, and DeRozan could be just the ticket.
“The Heat, too,” the anonymous league executive said. “Even if they get Lillard, they’re gonna be looking for more. They want to keep as much of their asset base together to make a run at another guy after Dame.”
A lot of this sounds pretty wild, but it is the NBA, so we know anything could happen.
Plus, the Bulls have been so conservative with their trades the past few season and it’s not yielding any results, so something has got to change soon.
Another NBA insider believes that the Bulls aren’t pulling any major moves because they want to save themselves for a big fish. Someone like two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.