DeRozan's New Show, The Paw's Development, A Little Sign-and-Trade Talk, and Other Bulls Bullets

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DeRozan’s New Show, The Paw’s Development, A Little Sign-and-Trade Talk, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

I officially said goodbye to my winter self last night.

The long, furry mane was cut back down to a reasonable length, and my fuzzy face was shaven to a marble-like state. It was basically the equivalent of that scene in Monster’s Inc. when the CDA (Child Detection Agency) busts through the windows to shave down the monster with the sock on his back.

I feel so exposed.

•   DeMar DeRozan has long been one of the NBA’s strongest mental health advocates, and he will now continue that initiative with an all-new digital series titled “Dinners with DeMar.” The Chicago Bulls All-Star will sit down with both athletes and influencers to discuss a slew of important subjects, which will, of course, include mental health. The series will be produced by Podium Pictures, and the air date currently remains unclear.

•   I got to say, it’s pretty darn cool to see someone who sports a Chicago Bulls uniform lead the charge on a project like this. Not only is it such an important topic to dive into (especially within the sports community where it can oftentimes be cast aside), but I think it just goes to show the kind of people this new organization is invested in. DeRozan truly seems like one heck of a positive influence on and off the court, and he continues to feel like the right player at the right time for a franchise looking to reinvent itself.

•   Speaking of which, ESPN’s Bobby Marks went through all 30 NBA teams and outlined what each must do to improve this summer. For the Bulls, he (duh) pointed toward re-signing Zach LaVine as one key area to focus on this offseason, but he also emphasized the team’s 27-13 record to start the season. Indeed, I agree the Bulls have to keep that in mind as they approach the draft and free agency. While adding shooting and size should be done, you don’t necessarily want to over-correct if *health* was one of the primary problems.

•   Marks listed Ball’s health, LaVine’s new contract, and depth in the frontcourt as the team’s top-3 offseason needs. To be sure, I don’t disagree with any of that, but I do think we have to mention Patrick Williams’ development near the top of the list. Heading into Year 3, the front office will need the No. 4-overall pick to take a sizable step in the right direction. He’ll have to become one of the team’s top defensive players (especially if Vucevic continues to man center), and he must begin to carry a greater offensive load. Even if LaVine and DeRozan continue to be the foundation of this offense, Williams possesses too much all-around upside to not carry a greater role as a scoring threat. Whether it be allowing him to play a primary playmaking role at times with the second unit or allowing him to do more work off-the-dribble, we need to see the ball in his hands more.

•   Another young Bulls player I can’t wait to see next year just received a well-deserved honor:

•   The Bulls fans who continue to scream in favor of a Zach LaVine sign-and-trade are the same fans I know will be #MadOnline when they see the return. I’m not sure people understand how unlikely getting back a player at the same or better level as LaVine is in a sign-and-trade scenario. I’ve seen some people act as if it’s a given the Bulls would get back an All-Star-caliber talent, but the much more plausible outcome is they receive a rotation player and some draft compensation. All we need to do is look at some of the S&T’s from last season.

•   What did the Spurs get for DeMar DeRozan? Thaddeus Young, Al-Farouq Aminu, a top-10 protected first-round pick. What did the Pelicans get for Lonzo Ball? Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple, and a second-round pick. What did the Raptors get for Kyle Lowry? Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa. What did the Hornets get for Devonte’ Graham? A 2022 lottery-protected first-round pick. Are any of those players better than LaVine? Lowry is the closest, and while Achiuwa is a fun prospect, it’s basically the same as getting a mid-first-round pick. So … yeah … please keep in mind that swapping LaVine for a big name isn’t the most likely result. Could it happen? Sure, we can never rule out a swap of two disgruntled stars, but it’s not the safest bet. 

•   Hey, I know a team on that list! 

•   Oof, another potentially big absence for the Celtics tonight. 


•   Congrats to The Cat!

Author: Elias Schuster

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