Bulls Notes: DeRozan, Options, Dosunmu, Phillips, Williams

Chicago figures to be at the center of many trade conversations around the league after a disappointing start has the team sitting with a 6-14 record — 13th in the East — after 20 games.

Along the same lines, scouts and executives Sam Amick of The Athletic has spoken to believe Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan is “very likely” to be traded prior to the February deadline. According to Amick, the Heat and Knicks are teams that appeal to DeRozan, who is on an expiring $28.6MM contract.

DeRozan, 34, was an All-Star each of the past two seasons for Chicago and earned an All-NBA Second Team nod in 2021/22. His numbers are down a bit this season, but he’s still averaging 21.3 PPG, 4.6 APG, 3.2 RPG and 1.0 SPG on .450/.364/.810 shooting in 18 games (35.2 MPG).

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • Keith Smith of Spotrac believes the Bulls should tear down their roster and basically start from scratch. Smith takes an in-depth look at Chicago’s assets and salary cap situation, and lists five trade proposals to kick-start a rebuild, though he acknowledges the Bulls are highly unlikely to undergo such a drastic overhaul.
  • Third-year guard Ayo Dosunmu got his first start of the ’23/24 season in Thursday’s overtime victory over Milwaukee and played well, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Dosunmu, who finished with 14 points (on 6-of-8 shooting), six rebounds, six assists and three steals in 39 minutes, received praise from head coach Billy Donovan. “He was great because his tempo and pace in pick-and-roll was really good. He wasn’t rushed,” Donovan said. “He read the floor. He read the defense. He made really good decisions, not only for himself but he generated shots for other guys. He got Vooch (Nikola Vucevic) a lot of opportunities.” Dosunmu is likely to continue to receive more run with Zach LaVine set to miss the next week due to foot soreness, Johnson adds.
  • Julian Phillips, a second-round pick who was selected 35th overall in this year’s draft, played a season-high 14 minutes on Thursday with both LaVine and DeRozan (ankle) sidelined, Johnson notes in another story. The 20-year-old small forward missed all three of his field goal attempts, but he played with aggression and had three rebounds and three assists, Johnson writes.
  • Fourth-year forward Patrick Williams, a restricted free agent in 2024, is starting to turn things around after an extremely slow start, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. “Patrick has done a good job,” Donovan said. “He’s been more consistent (with) being physical and feeling his presence out there.” Williams is averaging 13.6 PPG and 5.0 RPG on .520/.474/.875 shooting over the past five games, including four starts (31.5 MPG).
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