The NBA trade deadline is still rather far away, but that hasn’t stopped trade rumors from flying around like crazy. One team that finds themselves at the center of these trade rumors is the Chicago Bulls, and for good reason. Despite being led by the trio of DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic, the Bulls currently sport a 13-18 record that is good for 11th place in the Eastern Conference.
It’s been frustrating to see things not end up working out for the Bulls so far, and it has resulted in pretty much every player on their roster being mentioned in trade rumors. While many of their players have value, it’s clear the piece that everyone is the most interested in is DeRozan.
DeRozan has been the Bulls top offensive player, and he could end up being a strong addition for a team looking to add one of the top scorers in the league to boost their playoff hopes. If Chicago does indeed decide to blow things up and move DeRozan, let’s take a look at the three best landing spots for DeRozan and see why they would make so much sense.
3. Dallas Mavericks
Ever since losing Kristaps Porzingis and Jalen Brunson over the past year or so, the Dallas Mavericks have been looking to add some more secondary scoring to complement Luka Doncic. Doncic has a huge burden on his shoulders every night he takes the floor, and while Christian Wood has been OK, it’s clear that more help is going to be needed for the Mavs if they want to make another deep playoff run this season.
In that sense, a move for DeRozan would make a lot of sense for the Mavericks. DeRozan is putting together another strong season as the focal point of the Bulls offense (25.9 PPG, 5 RPG, 4.7 APG, 50.8 FG%) and has proven that his bounce back season with the Bulls last year wasn’t a fluke. DeRozan is as dangerous as ever, which is why so many teams are interested in him.
The drop off in scoring for Dallas from Doncic’s 32.2 points per game to Wood’s 17.2 points per game is huge, and it showcases the issues that Dallas’ offense is having early on this season. DeMar DeRozan could come in and immediately give the Mavericks another elite offensive player to work alongside the Mavericks, and it may be just what they need to turn things around after an uneven start to the season.
2. Miami Heat
The Miami Heat find themselves in a fairly similar spot as the Mavericks, as both teams made it all the way to their respective Conference Finals last season, and now have 16-16 records in the current campaign. The Heat have been looking for a way to add another offensive spark to their lineup, and it’s clear that DeRozan would be more than capable of providing that spark.
The Heat are led by Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro on offense, but only Butler and Herro really excel at creating shots for themselves. Miami also doesn’t have a true playmaker running their offense, so it causes their offense to get clogged up more often than it should. The Heat’s defense has usually been able to bail them out in past seasons, but that hasn’t been the case this year.
DeRozan is a skilled isolation scorer inside the three-point arc, and having someone else who opposing defenses have to worry about could open up their offense. The Heat may be more inclined to add a playmaker to run their offense, but reuniting DeMar DeRozan with his long-time backcourt partner in Kyle Lowry wouldn’t be the worst idea either.
1. Toronto Raptors
A reunion with Lowry would be nice, but a reunion with the Toronto Raptors may be even better. Whereas the first two teams on this list find themselves in similar spots, the Raptors actually find themselves in a similar spot as the Bulls. Toronto has struggled to start the season, and they have been plagued by trade rumors ever since then.
The Raptors have failed to meet expectations early on this season, and as a result, pretty much everyone on their team is a trade candidate. Despite that, they have been linked to DeMar DeRozan, and would reportedly be interested in a potential reunion if the Bulls make him available on the trade market.
Maybe the two teams rumored to be on the verge of blowing up their teams could pull off a deal that sees them swap some of their top players. DeRozan could certainly add a scoring boost to an offense that has struggled to score efficiently all season long, and while things look bad for the Raptors now, they still have quite a few talented players on their roster. Things may look dire for them now, but pulling off a move for DeRozan could solve several of their big offensive issues in one fell swoop.