In NBA discourse, there appears to be no room for teams to settle into the dreaded middle-ground of mediocrity. If a team isn't a genuine contender for a championship, it seems like the best route for them to take is to start from scratch, as the system rewards poor play with a chance to turn the franchise around by selecting a generational prospect high up in the NBA Draft. For the Chicago Bulls, this option appears to be an especially enticing one; their core, led by DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic, doesn't stack up to that of genuine contenders, as evidenced by their lackluster 2022-23 season.
However, competing in the NBA isn't as simple as black and white. For DeRozan, he believes that there is value in staying the course, as he did not mince words when he responded to the idea that the Bulls should just blow it all up and rebuild.
“I think a lot of people who say that or suggest that [the Bulls should just rebuild] really don’t understand basketball at all, in my opinion. You can think that’s an answer or that’s a route. But there’s no telling how long that route is going to even last,” DeRozan told Mark Medina of Sportskeeda.
There are no guarantees in life, much less in the NBA, so it's not the clear-cut best decision in the world for the Bulls to trade away DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic just so they could bottom out and draft players who have the potential to be as good as those three are right now someday. As DeRozan would painfully attest to, the Toronto Raptors, after years of staying the course despite consecutive heartbreaking playoff exits at the hands of LeBron James, won the championship when they pounced on the opportunity to trade for Kawhi Leonard in 2018.
Will that option exist for the Bulls someday? No one knows, for time only moves in one direction. But DeRozan certainly wants to wait around and see whether, by some chance, things break out in the best way for the franchise he calls home at the moment.