3 bold predictions for DeMar DeRozan in his first season with the Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls have already had quite the offseason, reshaping their roster in a big way just a few days into the NBA free agency. Most recently, the Bulls managed to acquire All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan in a sign-and-trade with the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.
So far, the Bulls have added DeRozan, point guard Lonzo Ball, and wily sparkplug Alex Caruso. With the tandem of DeRozan and Ball coming on board in the last few days, the Bulls are stringing together a quality lineup that will help the team compete at a high level for the first time in what seems like forever.
The additions of DeRozan and Ball has really put the Bulls over the top in terms of offseason “winners” in the Eastern Conference. A veteran player with an extensive postseason experience like DeRozan is simply invaluable to a squad on the rise, both on the court and in the locker room.
Here are three bold predictions for DeMar DeRozan’s stint with the Chicago Bulls.
Will shoot over 35% from three-point range
Another change of scenery is just what DeRozan needs. While this was a bit problematic the first time around as it appeared that his move from the Toronto Raptors to the Spurs really impacted him in a negative way, moving to a brand new home could very well do wonders for the seasoned two-guard.
In fact, DeRozan will hit the Windy City with a major chip on his shoulder, en route to possibly setting a career-high mark in three-point shooting. He has never shot higher than 33.8 percent in a single season from behind the arc since breaking into the NBA in 2009. But that could change in his first season with the Bulls, surpassing the personal best he set in the 2015-2016 season. Thanks to all of the offensive firepower that will surround DeRozan in Chicago, the Bulls newcomer will have a real shot at accomplishing this feat in their upcoming campaign.
Will appear in all 82 regular season games
The 31-year-old DeRozan has only appeared in all 82 regular season games twice, most recently accomplishing this feat as a member of the Raptors in 2012-2013, his fourth season in the NBA. He first completed the entire campaign in his sophomore year. On two other occasions, DeRozan has appeared in 79 and 80 regular season games, although he never managed to do so in three seasons with the Spurs.
With the Bulls possessing a slew of talented players, which should give coach Billy Donovan a pretty deep rotation, the wear and tear on DeRozan won’t need to be as steep. If he can play less than 33 or 34 minutes per game, his legs will be able to take him further as the season rolls on. Even with load management becoming a prevalent NBA topic over the course of the last handful of seasons, DeRozan will burst onto the scene in Chi-Town with 82 regular season appearances and just as many starts.
Will lead Bulls to the NBA Playoffs
With the acquisition of the high-scoring DeMar DeRozan, among several other presumptive key cogs for the team in the upcoming season, the Bulls will return to the NBA Playoffs this time around. Although DeRozan only reached the postseason once as a member of the Spurs, which came in his first season with the fabled franchise, he no doubt has the experience from his lengthy stint with the Raptors.
On the other hand, it has been quite a while since the Bulls have reached the postseason, their last stint coming in 2016-2017, which ended in a first round exit in six games at the hands of the always dangerous Boston Celtics. At an even 41-41 record while serving as the no. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Bulls barely made it. Last season, the lowly Bulls finished the 72-game regular season at a dismal 31-41.