Appreciating DeMar DeRozan, Vooch's Welcome to the NBA, Suns Big Win, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Appreciating DeMar DeRozan, Vooch’s Welcome to the NBA, Suns Big Win, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

I just want to make sure we don’t take DeMar DeRozan for granted.

  • Putting aside the overarching frustration with where the organization is currently at (which, yes, isn’t easy), we should feel pretty lucky that DeRozan’s career has made a stop in Chicago. While he may not be on the level of the true league elites, he might as well be one step below that. We’re talking about a six-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA member, a gold medalist, and the 39th all-time leading scorer. And it’s not as if he hasn’t added any of these accolades while wearing a Bulls uniform.
  • Indeed, DeRozan’s single-best season of his historic career came with the team in 2021-22. Not only was he the league’s most clutch player, but he sat second in the NBA in total points scored. He’s also been named an All-Star in both seasons since joining the franchise. Look, I don’t know how much longer he’ll stay in Chicago, especially with him becoming contract extension eligible this summer. But I do know that I’ll always remember his time here fondly no matter what. Talent like him – aka HOF-level talent – just doesn’t come around too often.
  • Here’s a little reminder of what DeRozan has done while in Chicago …

  • DeRozan hopped on Stephen A Smith’s stream of the Suns-Nuggets game last night for a wide-ranging conversation. The two spent a pretty limited time speaking about the Bulls, primarily touching on how the team needs to find a replacement for the unfortunately-injured Lonzo Ball. Instead, the most interesting part of the discussion came when DeRozan was asked if he believes the Raptors would have won a championship if he stayed in town:

“Most definitely,” DeRozan told Stephen A. “And it sucks that we couldn’t see what could have happened with me still being there – that just changes the whole dynamic and everything … But I congratulated all those guys for winning that championship. Every guy that I played with. Every guy that was there. Especially that country, that city, they deserved it. We would have did the same thing.”

  • DeRozan has always taken the high road when talking about his shocking trade to the San Antonio Spurs. But there is little doubt it’s left a scar. Also, as much as I love his confidence about pulling off the same heroic effort as the 2018-19 Raptors, I have a hard time seeing it. While I know DeRozan’s Raptors took LeBron James to six games in the 2015-16 East Finals, that felt like their ceiling. They went on to get swept in the following two seasons during the second round. Not to mention, even if the cards fell their way one of those years, I doubt they beat the Warriors. Let’s also not forget that Leonard’s run during that postseason was all-time stuff. They simply don’t get the job done without that kind of performance.

  • Nikola Vucevic hopped on Austin Rivers’ podcast to talk about everything from his All-Star-level play to his feelings about deep-dish pizza. In between that, he also shared two “welcome to the NBA moments:” (1) Getting dunked on by JaVale McGee and (2) feeling terrified to matchup with LaMarcus Aldridge. You can listen to it here:

  • Speaking of terrifying big men, Nikola Jokic tied freakin’ WILT CHAMBERLAIN for the most playoff triple-doubles last night. Crazy.

  • Devin Booker and Kevin Durant combined for 86 of the Suns’ 121 points during their win over the Nuggets. Can’t wait for LaVine and DeRozan to do that next season!

  • Look at Booker’s shot chart. Yeesh!

  • Tommy vs. Jimmy continues this afternoon. Nick Friedell of ESPN put together a nice feature on the long-standing relationship between the two former Bulls. Warning: It’s a stark reminder of the mistakes that were made in Chicago.

  • Re-sharing this because I’m still salty:

  • Familiarize yourself with the new talent:

  • I can’t wait until they win the lottery!

Author: Elias Schuster

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