Bulls Notes: DeRozan, LaVine, Ball, Vucevic, Carter, Luxury Tax

Bulls wing DeMar DeRozan is headed to unrestricted free agency next summer unless he signs an extension. He said he’ll let his agent, Aaron Goodwin, concentrate on that issue, according to ESPN News Services.

“I have an agent. He deals with it and I tell him to leave me the hell alone so I can focus on my five kids,” DeRozan said. “I’m not kidding you. I try not to focus on that and let him handle what he needs to handle.”

Executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas says he’s in active discussions with Goodwin regarding an extension for DeRozan, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

DeRozan is hoping to stay with the Bulls and lift them to greater heights rather than pushing to join an established contender.

“For me, it’s all about understanding what we can do to win. How we can win,” he said. “Obviously, this is a place I want to be. You can take that out of the equation.”

We have more on the Bulls:

  • The Zach LaVine trade rumors never completely go away, but he feels he showed his loyalty to the organization last year when he signed a long-term contract, Bulls Talk tweets. “I committed to the Bulls when I signed here, and I’ll be committed to the Bulls until I leave,” he said. “That’s not my decision. I made my decision to be here.”
  • Lonzo Ball, who will miss the season after undergoing cartilage transplant surgery, said he’s “about halfway through the rehab process,” Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic tweets. Ball is aiming to return for the 2024/25 season.
  • Nikola Vucevic felt an obligation to return to the Bulls, noting they gave up a lot of assets to Orlando when they acquired him, Mayberry tweets. “Chicago traded for me. They brought me here. They gave up a lot for me,” he said. “And so I felt a responsibility to come back and help the team do better than we did. I don’t know what that will be in the end. But that’s just kind of how I felt.” He inked a three-year, $60MM contract extension prior to free agency.
  • The Bucks and Celtics have stolen the headlines in the East with blockbuster trades just before training camp. Jevon Carter, who played for Milwaukee last season, said he’s not concerned about what’s going on outside of Chicago, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes. “Thoughts on Milwaukee and Boston? I don’t really care. I’m a Chicago Bull,” he said. “I’m not really thinking about Boston or Milwaukee.”
  • Karnišovas said the team’s performance will impact whether or not ownership enters luxury tax territory, Johnson adds in the same story. “I think we’re at the point where we’re going to go into the luxury tax if we’re confirming this is the group. I think this is just giving more time for this group to figure it out. And I think once you have consistent success, you can go for it,” Karnišovas said.
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