Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan Explain Why They Chose the Bulls

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Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan Explain Why They Chose the Bulls

Chicago Bulls

Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan sat down to address the media for the first time as members of the Chicago Bulls on Friday.

While we got our fair share of “I’m just happy to be here” content, both have some pretty encouraging things to say about their interest in joining the organization and how they view the future of this team.

Here is a look at some of their most interesting comments, and some thoughts on what it means for the state of the Chicago Bulls.

•   Unsurprisingly, both quickly addressed what led them to join Chicago over teams with a more proven and recent track record of success, and their answers just go to show the true value of a more respectable front office and coaching staff.

•   Zach LaVine may not be a handpicked member of this current regime, but it’s more than clear why the front office went the direction they did last offseason. By aggressively investing in Nikola Vucevic and building around LaVine’s lethal scoring, they caught the eye of some of free agency’s biggest names. This alone goes to show how drastically the perception of the franchise has changed in just over one season. Yes, the wins still need to come, but when is the last time talent of this stature could even envision these wins on the horizon?

•   Ball also went on to point out how needed the organization made him feel. Big W.

•   Once again, this tells us a lot about the new boys upstairs. While the contract dangled in front of DeRozan feels like it also could have been a big motivator for his decision to move to Chicago (uh, duh), Ball’s contract comes off surprisingly reasonable. In other words, other franchises with possibly more competitive track records could have offered Ball similar compensation, which only puts a greater emphasis on how Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley were able to make him feel like Chicago was where he had to be.

•   Since the DeRozan acquisition was announced, there have been endless questions about his fit alongside Zach LaVine and the rest of this Bulls roster. DeRozan addressed those “concerns” Friday afternoon:

•   I love everything about that response, and I’m about to go put a DeRozan jersey in my shopping cart. With that said, as a high-usage player who has gone through his prime with the ball always in his hands, I still think there is a genuine discussion to have about fit. We do need to see how the offense flows with him and LaVine on the court, and what happens when push comes to shove in late-game situations. At the same time, DeRozan is right, these guys are professionals and it is about working toward a common goal. As long as they all keep that at the top of mind, everyone should be willing to play whatever role is needed to make the fit work, including DeRozan.

•   DeRozan even went on to talk about the evolution of his game during his time in San Antonio, and how this process taught him how to prioritize making his teammates better.

•   LaVine seemed to start that process last season as he worked on his playmaking and defense, and a veteran presence like DeRozan could only accelerate that process. But, more importantly, a comment like this should only ease nerves about DeRozan’s role moving forward. After all, he did average a career-high assist percentage last season, as well as a career-low turnover percentage, so he isn’t just talking the talk.

•    Also, if DeRozan is as hyped about being LaVine’s teammate as it sounds, we should be on the brink of a great on and off court relationship.

•   We talk about how much the front office matters, but how about LaVine!? If players like DeRozan and Ball see LaVine as someone they are eager to play with, it could mean how other high-impact talents might want to team up with the elite scorer down the road. I don’t know about you, but that just sounds like another reason why building around LaVine feels like the right move.

•   The new guys are already best buds.

•   Anyway, we can get into a lot more detail over the weekend and into next week. In the meantime, I’ll drop both of the press conferencesAn below so you can get a complete look at what each player had to say.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.