Five years ago, DeMar DeRozan might’ve been a star player the New York Knicks front office could’ve considered adding. The same can’t be said for the now 34-year-old, as although DeRozan’s still playing at a high level, he doesn’t fit New York’s timeline.
DeRozan isn’t even the Bull who’s popped up the most in Knicks trade rumors because that’s an honor that goes to Zach LaVine. Frankly, New York shouldn’t consider taking on any player from Chicago’s roster that is teetering in rebuild mode after losing Lonzo Ball for another season.
Because the Knicks have the assets, they will continue to be linked to every player, including DeRozan. Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley even went as far as to write on Sept. 20 that New York made a mistake by not trading for the six-time All-Star this summer, even though DeRozan isn’t a name the Bulls were floating around.
The forward’s recent comments in an interview with Sportskeeda’s Mark Medina prove he’s all-in to what Chicago is doing and should be enough to stop him from being connected to New York, at least for now.
A DeMar DeRozan trade shouldn’t be on the New York Knicks’ radar
If Jrue Holiday taught NBA fans one thing this week: it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with an organization, your time there can be over in a split second. He went from saying he wanted to retire with the Bucks to being sent to the Trail Blazers as part of the Damian Lillard deal the very next day.
DeMar DeRozan’s desire to end his career in Chicago shows that he wants to sign his next contract with the Bulls, so he isn’t looking for a way out. He’s eligible to sign a four-year extension worth nearly $180 million, and if he doesn’t ink his name to a new deal before the season starts, he’ll enter unrestricted free agency next summer.
The Knicks aren’t in win-now desperation mode, but maybe if they were, targeting DeRozan in a trade before the deadline (if he doesn’t sign an extension) or in free agency might’ve been something the front office considered.
Instead, a team on the brink of contention should do what they could to bring him in if DeRozan hits the open market. He averaged a career-high 27.9 points per game in 2021-22 and followed that up with an average of 24.5 points per game this past season. DeRozan’s still an All-Star level player and one of the game’s best closers, so it’ll be interesting to see how his situation with the Bulls plays out.