DeMar DeRozan reportedly would prefer to be traded to Knicks, Heat if moved

While it looks like the Bulls will finally be sellers at the trade deadline, teams around the league have been more interested in trading for DeMar DeRozan or Alex Caruso than Zach LaVine. The Bulls want to trade LaVine first, then maybe talk DeRozan or Caruso.

Of that trio, DeRozan — still productive at age 34 and on an expiring contract — seems like the most likely to be traded before Feb. 8. If that happens, DeRozan would prefer to be traded to New York or Miami, reports Sam Amick of The Athletic.

When it comes to possible destinations, the Heat and Knicks are known to be preferable to DeRozan if he winds up getting moved.

The Lakers are said to be interested in DeRozan as well, which Amick notes shouldn’t be a surprise considering LeBron James and DeRozan had talked before the Lakers pivoted to trade for Russell Westbrook (it would have been next to impossible for the Lakers to acquire DeRozan at the time, but there was interest).

DeRozan averages 21.3 points a game with a 54.4 true shooting percentage, numbers not far off his career averages. He is still an elite midrange shooter who could help teams in the regular season and playoffs.

Would DeRozan fit with either of these teams? On the surface, sure. In Miami, he provides another shot creator and clutch scoring option on a team that does not shy away from DeRozan’s preferred midrange jumpers — with DeRozan, the Heat would be a bigger threat to the Celtics and the rest of the top of the East. However, he takes the ball out of the hands of Butler. The Knicks are a team in waiting for the next superstar to change teams, but the players they are watching and waiting on — Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic, among others — will not be available at the trade deadline. DeRozan could plug in as a veteran shot creator who makes New York more of a threat in these playoffs but does not clog their books long term, but his game is similar to Jalen Brunson.

With LaVine making $28.6 million this season no trade is going to be easy to pull off, the Bulls are going to have to take back salary and — if they are starting a rebuild — they will want picks and good young players (maybe Immanuel Quickley from New York or Austin Reaves from the Lakers).

However, for any trade to happen it would require the Bulls to engage on that front, and right now they are more focused on a possible LaVine trade (which doesn’t seem to be coming together anytime soon). Still, it’s something to watch.


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