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The bold strategy Bulls must use to maximize DeMar DeRozan-Zach LaVine duo

Bulls, DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine

The Chicago Bulls made a big splash right at the start of free agency when they agreed to terms with Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, and then came the huge shocker of a DeMar DeRozan deal.

The Bulls added a lot of talent this offseason as they try to change their fortunes. However, there are still some questions about how DeRozan is going to fit in with this Bulls roster and how he’ll mesh with All-Star Zach LaVine. Both players are ball-dominant with the ability to score and make plays for others, but DeRozan isn’t a 3-point shooter.

Given the lack of talent in Chicago in recent seasons, the Bulls would often turn to LaVine to be the hero. While he had a career year in 2020-21, Chicago still struggled to win games and had issues in crunch time because of all the pressure on him.

With DeRozan now in place, the Bulls have another efficient scorer and playmaker to help out LaVine. On the latest episode of Blue Wire’s Cash Considerations podcast, Pounding The Rock’s Noah Magaro-George discussed how DeRozan and LaVine will mesh on offense and how Billy Donovan should use them when they’re on the floor together:

“You look at DeMar DeRozan, you have a guy like Zach LaVine who was pretty efficient last year with the ball in his hands and you’re taking it out of his hands to give it to DeRozan, who was also really good but doesn’t really provide much off-ball. So I feel like they they kind of have to try that. … It’s an interesting conglomeration of players. …  I think you have to try at the very least to get the ball in DeMar DeRozan’s hands and have LaVine play a little bit off-ball.”

While LaVine will have the ball in his hands plenty, his high-level 3-point shooting and athletic cutting ability make him a dangerous off-ball threat. Bringing in improved passers like DeRozan and Ball should make life easier for LaVine.

Meanwhile, DeRozan’s weakness as a 3-point shooter gets mitigated when he has the ball in his hands because he has to be guarded, and the spacing provided by the Bulls’ other shooters will open up the offense for him. DeRozan can use that to advantage to score or find those open shooters, which is something he has improved upon over the years. This will make Chicago’s offense quite potent as they look to make the playoffs.

Here’s the full Cash Considerations pod:

Cash Considerations: A Chicago Bulls Podcast is part of the Blue Wire sports podcasting network. The pod can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts.