DeMar DeRozan Reiterates Desire To Stay With Bulls

Forward DeMar DeRozan, who is eligible for a veteran extension until June 30 before hitting unrestricted free agency, told K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago that he wants to sign an extension to remain with the Bulls.

This is where I want to be,” DeRozan said. “ … I love ownership. I love everything about the city and the franchise, top to bottom—the front office, the staff we have. It’s one of those places that gives me motivation to see everybody get what they deserve and feel what winning is like again.”

DeRozan has stated multiple times throughout the season he wants to stay with Chicago, and the interest is reportedly mutual. But an agreement on a new deal has yet to be reached, leaving his future in doubt.

As Johnson writes, DeRozan has outplayed the three-year, $81.9MM contract he signed a few years ago when the Bulls acquired him in a sign-and-trade with the Spurs. The 34-year-old has averaged 25.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 5.1 APG and 1.0 SPG on .496/.331/.867 over the past three seasons, earning two All-Star nods and providing clutch shot-making while being very durable — he leads the league in total minutes and minutes per game (37.8) in 2023/24.

The Bulls have not found much team success over the past few years, however, particularly since January 2022, when Lonzo Ball‘s career was derailed by a series of knee surgeries. After being eliminated in a first-round playoff series with Milwaukee in 2022, Chicago lost to Miami in the play-in tournament last year, and is locked into another play-in berth in ’24. Injuries were a factor again this season, with Zach LaVine and Patrick Williams sidelined with season-ending foot surgeries.

DeRozan told Johnson he wants to help the Bulls find the success they had in the first portion of the ’21/22 season, when they were 27-13 before Ball was injured.

The feeling, the vibe, the energy that was around when we had that run, I want the city and all these players to experience that again — and for myself too,” DeRozan said as part of a larger quote. “It’s always easy to complain and say what’s not. But I made it clear this is where I want to be. … I don’t want to go nowhere.

They know it. Everybody knows my stance. I lay it down from this perspective: I want to come back. Everybody else figure out what you need to figure out. And that’s just how I look at it so I don’t stress or worry about what’s what. I made it clear this is where I want to be. The powers that be just need to figure out what needs to happen. Everybody knows my mindset.”

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