All-Star Bulls small forward DeMar DeRozan is eligible for a four-year contract extension worth up to $179MM, prompting K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago to consider the case for Chicago’s retention of the 34-year-old wing.
Across his two seasons with the Bulls, DeRozan has posted impressive regular season averages of 26.2 PPG, 5.0 APG and 4.9 RPG. Chicago returned to the playoffs in one of those two seasons, falling in five quick games to the Bucks in 2022.
Johnson believes that the Bulls might want to consider keeping DeRozan on a deal closer to Khris Middleton‘s new three-year, $102MM agreement with Milwaukee, and wonders if the three-time All-NBA honoree and Chicago could come to terms on a new contract that would make both sides happy.
There’s more out of the East:
- Three-and-D Pacers center Myles Turner is hoping to elevate his shooting to an elite level this season. The 6’11” big man indicated in a new conversation with hosts Alex Golden and Michael Facci on their Setting The Pace podcast (h/t to Tony East of All Pacers for the transcription) that he wants to join the 50/40/90 shooting club, something few players in league history have ever done. “Working on multiple things,” Turner said. “Obviously, still improving my shot. Get my numbers up there. I really strive to be like a 50/40/90 guy… I think it’s possible… a lofty goal at that, but something I know I’m capable of doing.” In 2022/23, Turner averaged 18.0 PPG on .548/.373/.783 shooting splits, along with 7.5 RPG, 2.3 BPG, 1.4 APG and 0.6 SPG. He has never shot better than 80.9% from the charity stripe in a single season, or better than 38.8% on three-pointers.
- The revamped Nets are hoping that former All-Star point guard Ben Simmons can return to his winning ways. Simmons was out of the team’s rotation by the end of the year. Per Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily, a recent site survey shows that a majority of fans (62%) are optimistic Simmons will be the club’s starting point guard in April. 87% of Brooklyn fans are also convinced that the team will win more than 38 contests in 2023/24.
- Clippers reserve guard Norman Powell recently looked back on the 2021 trade that sent him from the Raptors to the Trail Blazers (Twitter video link via Basketball On X). “I didn’t want to leave Toronto,” Powell revealed. “I wanted to stay. The core that we had with Fred [VanVleet], Pascal [Siakam], OG [Anunoby], me, could’ve been what Boston Celtics are today.”