NBA Rumors: DeMar DeRozan, Kings Agree to $74M Contract in Sign-and-Trade with Bulls (2024)

NBA Rumors: DeMar DeRozan, Kings Agree to $74M Contract in Sign-and-Trade with Bulls (1)

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The Chicago Bulls may finally be staring into the future they've tried so hard to avoid.

Veteran forward DeMar DeRozan is heading to the Sacramento Kings in a sign-and-trade from the Bulls, ending his time in the Windy City after three seasons, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Chris Duarte, two second-round picks and cash are being sent to the Bulls in the deal, Wojnarowski added, and the Kings are sending Harrison Barnes and a unprotected 2031 pick swap to the San Antonio Spurs.

DeRozan will sign a three-year, $74 million deal with Sacramento, Wojnarowski added.

Here's a breakdown of the deal:

To Kings: DeMar DeRozan.

To Bulls: Chris Duarte, two second-round picks, cash.

To Spurs: Harrison Barnes, unprotected 2031 pick swap.

NBA Rumors: DeMar DeRozan, Kings Agree to $74M Contract in Sign-and-Trade with Bulls (2)

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Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

The Kings will also send the Spurs a 2032 unprotected pick swap, sources tell ESPN.

De'Aaron Fox played a "pivotal role" in the Kings landing DeRozan, per Bleacher Report and TNT's Chris Haynes.

Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes

Sources: Sacramento Kings star De'Aaron Fox played a pivotal role by joining today's meeting to help recruit DeMar DeRozan. The two are ecstatic about partnering together on the court.

DeRozan pulled up to Sacramento's Summer League game shortly after the news of his contract was reported and he received a standing ovation from Kings fans:

Jason Anderson @JandersonSacBee

DeMar DeRozan was just introduced to the crowd in Sacramento to the tune of Kendrick Lamar's "They Not Like Us." <a href="https://t.co/yhFu6hy1m7">pic.twitter.com/yhFu6hy1m7</a>

DeRozan's future with the Bulls was a storyline throughout the year thanks to his impending free agency.

By holding onto him through the NBA trade deadline, Chicago was clearly showing it hoped to retain him in the summer. The Athletic's Sam Amick reported on Feb. 9 the 34-year-old "is happy there and would like to return — if the money is right."

There may have been more than financial considerations at play after he watched the Bulls post their second straight losing record. Their season opened with a players-only meeting after Game 1 and didn't get much better from there. The team went 39-43 and finished ninth in the Eastern Conference, losing to the Miami Heat in the play-in tournament.

No NBA organization is stuck on the proverbial treadmill of mediocrity more than Chicago, and it's a position the franchise has been in for years.

Lonzo Ball having his career derailed by knee injuries spoiled the vision executive vice president of basketball operations Artūras Karnišovas sketched out. But it's worth asking if a plan in which Ball has such an outsized influence is flawed from the start.

In lieu of starting over, the front office wasn't even doing everything it can to wring whatever it could from a limited roster. Not only did Chicago not trade DeRozan or Zach LaVine, but it also failed to make a single addition by the February deadline.

Nothin' But Bull @BullNothin

Bulls 2024 trade deadline <a href="https://t.co/b61NyoeEH1">pic.twitter.com/b61NyoeEH1</a>

Against that backdrop, it's not hard to see why DeRozan is leaving the Bulls behind, and the Bulls' decision to trade Alex Caruso straight-up for Josh Giddey foreshadowed his departure.

Giddey, even if you assume he's intended to effectively replace Ball, is much younger than Caruso and simply a worse player right now. This was the kind of deal one might expect to see from a general manager pivoting toward a rebuild.

To that end, re-signing DeRozan on the kind of terms he wanted didn't make any sense.

In a vacuum, the six-time All-Star has value to a franchise with postseason aspirations. He averaged 24.0 points on 48.0 percent shooting along with 4.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 2023-24.

DeRozan couldn't be the No. 1 option for a championship team during his prime; trading him for Kawhi Leonard was what finally put the Toronto Raptors over the top. If anything, his reputation has taken a further hit since leaving Toronto. He has appeared in a total of 12 playoff games with the Bulls and San Antonio Spurs.

Moving to a secondary scoring role with the Kings will suit him more nicely.

His departure is arguably the best outcome for Chicago at this point, too, because Karnišovas — assuming he's retained — is left with almost no choice but to rip the bandage off.

NBC Sports Chicago's K.J. Johnson reported in March the Bulls will explore LaVine's trade market again this offseason, but it's hard to see how their position has improved when he underwent season-ending foot surgery in February.

Team owner Jerry Reinsdorf could decide to totally wipe the slate clean and bring in a new front office to guide what's all but guaranteed to be the next era of Bulls basketball.

Whether it's Karnišovas or somebody else, it could take a while before Chicago is in a position to meaningfully contend again.

The Kings were having a quiet offseason after re-signing Malik Monk.

Some of that approach is by design with Domantas Sabonis and De'Aaron Fox already signed to lucrative deals, but the team was in good financial shape at $14.3 million under the first apron prior to DeRozan's contract.

Sacramento needed to do something to get back in playoff contention after finishing ninth in the Western Conference last season. Its 46-36 record was only two games worse than the 2022-23 campaign, but the conference as a whole is in much better shape now.

DeRozan doesn't dramatically raise the Kings' ceiling at this point in his career. He does, however, give them a higher floor that could push them into the top six in the West.

NBA Rumors: DeMar DeRozan, Kings Agree to $74M Contract in Sign-and-Trade with Bulls (2024)
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