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Saturday, June 22, 2024

DeMar DeRozan Is This Season’s Best FA Signing

  • DeRozan became the first player in Bulls history to score 35+ points on 50% shooting in six straight games.
  • He signed a three-year, $82 million contract this past offseason — only the 44th-highest annual salary in the NBA.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports/Design: John Regula

Despite playing without three starters, the Chicago Bulls are a half-game back from the 1-seed — thanks to DeMar DeRozan.

On Monday, DeRozan dropped 40 points against the Spurs in a fourth straight win, continuing his historic tear while making a legitimate case for MVP. 

Though the MVP looks like a long shot (+4000*), DeRozan has been the best free-agent signing from the past offseason — and the most economical.

  • He signed a three-year, $82 million contract with Chicago — the 44th-highest annual salary ($26M) and 20th among guards.
  • He leads the NBA in total fourth-quarter points this season (431). The second-closest is Giannis Antetokounmpo (365).
  • He’s scored 35+ points on at least 50% shooting over the past six games, the longest streak in Bulls history of 35-PT, 50% FG games — even more than Michael Jordan.
  • The feat also ties an NBA record — Wilt Chamberlain did it in 1960-61 and in 1962-63.

By adding DeRozan, Chicago gave two-time All-Star Zach LaVine the supporting cast he never had. In addition to DeMar, the Bulls added Lonzo Ball ($18.6M) and Alex Caruso ($8.6M) this offseason — the three account for 47.3% of Chicago’s payroll.

After this season, LaVine will also be eligible for a supermax contract beginning at 35% of the cap (five years, $235 million) if he makes an All-NBA team this season.

Excluding LaVine’s expected payday, the Bulls only have seven players ($96.9 million) on the books next year. Fortunately, DeRozan is one of them.

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