The Chicago Bulls acquired DeMar DeRozan from the San Antonio Spurs in August of 2021. According to an interview, longtime Bulls star Zach LaVine was deeply involved in ensuring that DeRozan came to Chicago.
LaVine spoke with Bleacher Report over the 2022 NBA All-Star break. The shooting guard detailed the great lengths he went to in the trade, quotes courtesy of Bleacher Report.
According to LaVine, the Bulls began discussing a trade with DeRozan during the 2020 Summer Olympics (held in the Summer of 2021). He also said that multiple teams had eyes on the small forward, including the Los Angeles Lakers.
LaVine detailed his conversations with DeRozan, recalling late nights working on the trade while he played on the United States men’s basketball team in Tokyo.
“While I was overseas, yes. There were some nights, I called him one night at like 3 a.m. because of the time change, just to talk to him about how everything was going on with free agency and how we could make it work,” the Bulls star said.
3 a.m. in Tokyo is noon in San Antonio, a 15 hour time difference. LaVine said that he met up with DeRozan when he returned from Tokyo, and their relationship built from there.
“And when I came back, we got together…we started working out together in the offseason, and we both came to Chicago early because it’s a pretty new team. Pretty much everyone’s new on the team. We started off really early on in the process. I think that’s why we have such good chemistry.”
It’s safe to say that acquiring DeRozan was a great move. He leads the Bulls in points per game with 28.3 and assists per game with 5.1 (tied with Lonzo Ball).