3. DeMar DeRozan
Where are the Chicago Bulls one year from now? They re-signed Nikola Vucevic and added role players this summer, but can they survive another disappointing season? Lonzo Ball has already been ruled out for the entire campaign, and the Bulls were bounced in the Play-In Tournament in 2023. Expecting a massive improvement after signing two bench options seems foolish.
What does that mean for DeRozan? The six-time All-Star is extension-eligible entering the final year of his contract. The 34-year-old is still elite, but do the Bulls want to lock the 14-year veteran up long-term? If not, he will become a free agent in 2024 and could depart for nothing.
The Hawks hope to acquire an All-Star at a discount before the deadline. If the Bulls are out of the race, Chicago will shop the 6’6 forward. One first-round draft pick, two second-rounders, and role players is the going rate for a star on an expiring contract, which Atlanta might gladly pay to get DeRozan.
It is not a perfect fit. The veteran has scored over 20 points per game for a decade straight and is lethal in the mid-range, but struggles to sink 3-pointers. It would make Trae Young’s shooting even more important, but he has struggled to play off the ball in his NBA career. Does the star guard buy in if the Atlanta Hawks trade for DeMar DeRozan? It would be the key to making it work.