Zach LaVine Impasse Pushing DeMar DeRozan Off Bulls

DeMar DeRozan did better than expected with the Chicago Bulls, but now he might leave because of his teammate.

Near the season’s end, DeRozan said he wanted to stay with the Bulls. “This is where I want to be,” he shared. “I love ownership, everything about the city and franchise—the front office, the staff.”

Bulls’ Financial Struggles:

The team also liked him back but didn’t want to pay extra taxes for a team that hasn’t done well in recent playoffs. To avoid this tax, they might need to let go of either DeRozan or Zach LaVine. They tried trading LaVine around but found no takers because of his big contract.

With Patrick Williams signing a new deal for five years at $90M, the Bulls are only $13M below the tax line. This leaves little room for paying DeRozan unless he takes a big pay cut.

Fans might think this situation is unfair for DeRozan.

The Bulls recently traded Alex Caruso for Josh Giddey and drafted Matas Buzelis from G League Ignite. If they could trade LaVine successfully, keeping DeRozan would make sense as he’d be a good mentor for younger players. But money issues make it tough.

There’s also talk about tanking next season since the 2025 draft class looks strong; maybe they’re eyeing a high lottery pick.

So now DeRozan needs a new team. Miami Heat or Los Angeles Lakers could be options if they clear enough cap space. Even though staying in Chicago seemed perfect for him, it’s not possible anymore due to problems with LaVine’s contract.

What do you think will happen next?

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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