One year ago today, some freezing cold takes were born.
If we knew then what we know now … well … DeMar DeRozan might not be wearing a Chicago Bulls uniform. The veteran forward vaulted back up the league ranks this season with a performance worthy of an All-NBA Second Team honor. He averaged a career-high 27.9 points per game and finished as the NBA’s second-leading scorer behind only Trae Young. He shot an absurd 50.4 percent from the field, knocking down the most midrange buckets per game in a way that only he can.
What people thought was an outdated style of play from an aging All-Star turned out to be one of the most unstoppable products on the court. And, in hindsight, the Bulls getting that on a three-year, $82 million deal last August 3rd feels like a borderline steal.
I’ll admit it, I doubted the signing, too. While I was extremely excited to see the Bulls acting like a big market franchise for once, all you have to do is go back into the BN Bulls archives to see my own questions about the All-Star’s fit. No, I wasn’t stupid enough to call him “the worst free agent signing of the offseason,” but I had my questions.
FWIW: Here’s a snippet from a post I wrote after the dust settled one year ago today:
And that brings me back to the DeRozan situation. I’ll be honest, I did not jump out of my seat when the DeRozan news landed in front of me. In fact, I may have sunk deeper into my chair when the full details came out. What the Bulls gave up is no small potato. The thought of sending out another first-round pick after already sending two to Orlando is enough to make me take a Tums. Add in the fact that they did that simply for the right to pay a 31-year-old who struggles to hit 3’s and lacks plus-defense $28.3 million a year is enough to make me take two Tums.
At the same time, as my stomach settles, I ask myself … why the hell not?
I eventually entered the season cautiously optimistic, and I’m sure glad I did. With no animosity in my back pocket, it made accepting and enjoying the DeRozan resurgence that much easier.
We’ll see how the rest of his Bulls tenure plays out, but I think it’s difficult not to already deem this contract a success. DeRozan has already proven to be arguably the single-best free-agent pick-up in franchise history. I know that doesn’t feel like saying all that much when we consider the organization’s resume, but the fact we can say it just one season into his deal speaks to how instantly valuable he turned out to be.
I guess this all just goes to show how much can change in one year. Anyway, to celebrate DeRozan’s first anniversary in Chicago, I’ll go ahead and drop some more DeRozan content below: