Chicago Bulls playmaker DeMar DeRozan became the 16th active player in the NBA to reach 4,000 career assists after recording four assists against the Brooklyn Nets in their 131-87 blowout against the dysfunctional franchise.
DeRozan, having steadily grown as a facilitator throughout his impressive career, now has 4,003 career assists. For reference, he has more career assists than players like Hall of Fame guard Manu Ginobli or Hall of Fame forward Elgin Baylor.
DeMar DeRozan is now the 16th active player to reach 4000 assists in his NBA career 👏@MoetChandon | #MoetMoment pic.twitter.com/WrgMtWtsrr
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) February 25, 2023
With free agent guard Kemba Walker (3,938) behind him at 17th, it may be a while before another player reaches this milestone. However, there are a couple of players that have a chance to not only reach 4,000 career assists but to pass DeRozan as well.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is currently ranked 18th is active assists with 3,809. He is on pace to be in the top-50 in career assists five seasons from now. Should Jokic enjoy a long career like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or LeBron James, it’s feasible that he ends up having one of the 10 highest career assist totals in NBA history.
DeRozan, now 33-years-old, could likely play another five seasons in the NBA himself. If he should, expect the Compton native to wind up in the top-50 of all-time assists, passing celebrated playmakers like Allen Iverson and Mike Bibby.
It never seems as if DeRozan gets the recognition he deserves when thinking about his on-court impact and steady production since being drafted in 2009. However, as long as DeRozan keeps achieving milestones like this, it will be easier for the everyday fan to put his talent in perspective.