DeMar DeRozan has played many roles at the NBA teams he’s been with during his 14-season career, and it could be about to change again in his 15th season.
Without Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine, the Bulls were relying heavily on DeMar and his hero-ball isolation tactics last season.
This season, he may need to become more of a facilitator for a healthy LaVine and other young up and comers in the team.
Initially, DeRozan downplayed a question he was asked about his changing role after their preseason finale against the Timberwolves.
“Nah, not at all,” he said. “For me, it’s just feeling it out.”
Bulls coach Billy Donovan has explained that the team will have to find a balance as they look to play faster, meaning that DeRozan’s iso-ball could lessen.
“I think there has to be a balance,” Donovan said. “DeMar, I love working with him because he’s always about the team. And I think if we become so iso-heavy, I think he even knows, that’s only going to take us so far. In play-calling situations, I think we can go to him. But we have to get the ball downhill and spray the ball out.
“The numbers are pretty drastic. Those three guys [DeRozan, LaVine, Vučević] had either the first or second-best years of their long careers in terms of offensive efficiency and we were 24th on offense. So our spacing has to be better. We have to get downhill and generate more offensive rebounds. We’re not going to solve everything. And DeMar has been great in understanding the bigger picture. There will be plenty of time for him. He has played in plenty of systems. He’s an elite offensive player. He has an incredibly high basketball IQ. As he says, ‘I’ll find my way’.”
DeMar shared similar thoughts to his head coach and is ready to do whatever it takes to adjust, as he has many times before.
“You got to be ready to adjust for whenever,’ DeRozan said. “At the end of the day, it’s basketball. All my career, whatever is asked from me personally, I try to do that to the best of my ability and use my basketball IQ to heighten that. So it’s not a concern of mine. I don’t overthink it. I do what’s asked of me from a team perspective.”
The Bulls will begin their season with a matchup against OKC in Chicago on Wednesday, October 25 at 8:00PM ET.