When the Chicago Bulls set out to begin their journey in NBA free agency this offseason, many fans thought they knew what was going to happen.
It was pretty much assumed that the Bulls would end up with former New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball, and that anything beyond that would be a bonus.
After Ball agreed with the Bulls, all eyes were on Chicago as fans awaited the team’s next move. Signing guard Alex Caruso and executing a sign-and-trade with the Houston Rockets to send them Daniel Theis would be the next two announcements.
But then, something bigger was in the works. When fans found out the Bulls were in the mix to land DeMar DeRozan from the San Antonio Spurs, excitement reached a whole new level. Then it finally happened, and the Bulls were back.
DeMar DeRozan saw something in these Chicago Bulls which sold him on signing.
As the story went, general manager Marc Eversley flew all the way out to Los Angeles to meet with DeRozan after he had spent time with the Los Angeles Clippers brass. Eversley’s effort ultimately played a huge part in why DeRozan chose the Bulls, but another individual definitely helped make his decision as well.
That guy would be All Star guard Zach LaVine.
DeRozan very well could have chosen the Clippers and went on to play with a pair of All Stars in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. They could have formed a tough trio together in L.A., however, Chicago won in the end, in part because of LaVine.
Since LaVine joined the Bulls, his ascension has been a beautiful sight to behold. He has completely transformed into the ultimate competitor who wants the ball in his hands when it matters most. LaVine has become a force, being able to score from anywhere and continue to help get his teammates involved.
DeRozan saw something special in LaVine, and the fact he chose to sign a 3-year deal with Chicago is significant.
Remember, LaVine’s contract runs out this year and his desire is to sign an extension with the Bulls. DeRozan signing a multi-year deal and citing LaVine as a big reason why means that even he is confident the Bulls will get a deal done with LaVine.
DeRozan and LaVine will be playing together going past this year, you can bet on it. And, when they find their groove as a duo, they’ll surprise many of the critics. While some don’t believe DeRozan is a fit in Chicago, these two will make it work. Obviously, they share a connection already and want to win. If you have two veteran All Stars coming together and sharing that common goal, with genuine humility and hustle behind it all, it’s going to work.
Put all of the numbers and analytics aside. These two will make it happen. Not only will they co-exist, but they will flourish and the Bulls will come together for the best season since the prime days of Derrick Rose, and you can thank LaVine for making it all happen in the end.