Murray Recruiting LaVine? DeRozan Loves Chicago, Dosunmu Wants Summer League, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Murray Recruiting LaVine? DeRozan Loves Chicago, Dosunmu Wants Summer League, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

I remain shocked at how abrupt the end of the season feels.

In my third year of covering obsessing about this team here at BN Bulls, you would think I’d be at least a little more used to the season coming to a close. Nope. I can’t believe it’ll be roughly five months before we see this team on the floor again.

•   Dejounte Murray made a decision last night … and he almost immediately regretted that decision.

•   The San Antonio guard tweeted out a photoshopped image of unrestricted free-agent-to-be Zach LaVine in a Spurs jersey. When we consider these two are close friends who (1) both come from the Seattle area and (2) both inked a deal with New Balance, the fact Murray wants the two to team up isn’t at all surprising. What is surprising, however, is the fact Murray even tweeted this in the first place. While the tampering rules are more relaxed for players versus executives, this still isn’t something we see players do so openly. Conversations are supposed to be had behind the scenes, which is likely why we saw Murray delete the tweet soon after it hit the interweb.

•   I think this situation does remind us, though, that LaVine re-signing with Chicago isn’t a given until pen is put to paper. He remains arguably the best free agent on the market, and I’m sure a handful of players will be in his ear to consider other destinations. Now, does that mean I think those players will sway him in another direction? No. Not only does money talk (and the Bulls can offer the most money), but I sincerely believe LaVine wants to continue building out his future in Chicago. The Bulls invested in the talent we saw on the floor this season, in large part, to show LaVine they want to put the right pieces around him to succeed. There has been an obvious level of devotion by the front office, and I trust the relationships he has with the executives and the talent on the roster will keep him in town.

•   DeMar DeRozan couldn’t have been more clear when asked whether he believes LaVine is worth his incoming hefty paycheck: “Max player. Max talent. Max everything,” DeRozan said after the Bulls’ loss on Wednesday. “He’s one of those players in this league that you don’t see too often. I tell him all the time how envious I am of the things he’s able to do. So he deserves everything that’s come to him for sure.” I know DeRozan isn’t going to say the opposite about his All-Star teammate, but I think he alludes to something we can’t lose sight of here: Players around the league respect LaVine. In fact, a big reason DeRozan and Lonzo Ball said they wanted to join the franchise in the first place was to play alongside LaVine. He’s an elite scorer and a generally unselfish player. As he rises up the league ranks – both in terms of statistics and reputation – he can only help build the Bulls brand further.

•   Speaking of DeRozan, he only continued to reaffirm the team’s investment in him at his exit-interview press conference. The veteran forward sat in front of reporters and shared optimism for what’s to come, as well as an appreciation for the experience he’s already had in his new home.

“Me just understanding the culture of Chicago basketball for one,” DeRozan said. “Growing up, most of the guys on the team didn’t have a chance to witness the championship runs that the Chicago Bulls had. So for me to be a part of it, to be a part of this culture, this organization, this city, and feel the love, appreciation, the sports town – just everything that comes with being in Chicago – was something that was definitely an honor …

It was a dream come true. As a kid, I remember there were always a couple teams you want to create your player to play for, it was either the Lakers or the Bulls. To be a part of this – this run this year – it was great.”

•   As we talk about how LaVine can make Chicago a more attractive destination, there is no question DeRozan has already done that. All he’s done since putting on a Bulls jersey is show respect for the city and giddiness to play at the United Center. I know it’s kind of silly to smile about, but I can’t help but love when DeRozan talks this way about being Bull. To know a player of that caliber chose to join this franchise gives me hope Chicago can become the free-agent destination it should be.

•   Ayo Dosunmu sounds like he doesn’t want to stop playing:

“Hopefully I do,” he told reporters when asked about participating in Summer League this July. “I would like to. I think that would be a fun experience, so that’s up to the management. Either way, I’m fine with that. It’s just another just to play, [and] showcase your game.”

•   Despite starting 41 games this season, which included a playoff start, it says a lot about Dosunmu that he would express that much willingness to repeat his Summer League experience. I can’t wait to continue watching his development. A bright future rests ahead.

•   I wonder if Dosunmu is also ready for some DeRozan boot camp?

•   All-NBA-caliber defender. Simple as that.

•   You love to see it!

•   Is that good?

•   Please just find a wide receiver.


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Author: Elias Schuster

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