(670 The Score) The Bulls made a shocking splash on the second day of NBA free agency.
Chicago on Tuesday afternoon was finalizing an agreement to acquire wing DeMar DeRozan in a sign-and-trade with San Antonio that will also send forward Thad Young, a first-round pick and a second-round pick back to the Spurs, according to Shams Charania of the Athletic. DeRozan agreed to a three-year, $85-million deal to join the Bulls, the Athletic reported.
Veteran forward Al-Farouq Aminu is expected to be dealt from Chicago to San Antonio as well to help match salaries in the trade. The Bulls will send a first-round pick in 2025 and second-round picks in 2022 and 2025 to the Spurs, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported.
The addition of DeRozan continues a massive overhaul for the Bulls, who only have two players remaining under contract from when Arturas Karnisovas took over as executive vice president of basketball operations in April 2020 – All-Star guard Zach LaVine and guard Coby White. The Bulls also retain the rights to restricted free-agent big man Lauri Markkanen, who was previously tied to the Spurs in the rumor mill.
The Bulls previously traded two first-round picks to the Magic in late March to acquire All-Star center Nikola Vucevic. Parting with yet another first-round pick is a sign that the Bulls are fully in win-now mode following a 31-41 season in the first year under the new regime and coach Billy Donovan.
The 6-foot-6 DeRozan isn’t the cleanest fit for the Bulls schematically considering he’s a poor 3-pointer shooter who’s a ball-dominant player and has some defensive limitations, but Chicago was in need of another wing and playmaker. What the 31-year-old DeRozan can bring the Bulls is a great scoring punch and shot creation with the ability to put pressure on opposing defenses by getting to the rim.
He averaged 21.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists while serving as a centerpiece for the Spurs’ offense last season, when he shot 49.5% overall and 25.7% on 3-pointers. DeRozan is a low-volume 3-point shooting who largely does his work in the mid-range game, attempting just 0.5 3-pointers per game in 2019-’20 and 1.2 from long range last season. He’s good at creating contact, having averaged 7.2 free-throw attempts last season.
DeRozan is a four-time All-Star – most recently in 2017-’18 – who has averaged 20.1 points per game across his 12-year NBA career, the first nine of which were spent in Toronto before he was traded to San Antonio as part of the package that sent star forward Kawhi Leonard to the Raptors.
Young, 33, played for Chicago each of the past two seasons. He averaged 12.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 24.3 minutes in 68 games last season, when he started 23 times. Young shot 55.9% from the field and was a key figure in the Bulls’ pick-and-roll game with LaVine. Young is entering the final season of his contract.
The Bulls already had a busy Monday, agreeing to deals with guard Lonzo Ball (four years, $85 million) and guard Alex Caruso (four years, $37 million).
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.