New Contender Emerges in DeMar DeRozan Sweepstakes

The Miami Heat have now entered the conversation for DeMar DeRozan, who is still sitting in free agency.
New York Knicks v Chicago Bulls
New York Knicks v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Chicago Bulls are preparing for life without All-Star wing DeMar DeRozan, who is an unrestricted free agent and getting interest on the open market from contending teams. 

The 34-year-old wing is coming off an outstanding 2023 season with the Bulls, averaging 24 points, 5.3 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game. DeRozan kept the Bulls relevant without Zach LaVine, who underwent foot surgery, which reportedly caused issues within the organization.

Meanwhile, it’s clear that DeRozan still has a lot left in the tank and could help a contending team that’s looking for another scorer. As things currently stand, the Los Angeles Lakers have been the only team known to be interested in the Compton, CA native.

However, the Lakers have some competition for DeRozan, and it’s a team that no one has been paying attention to this offseason. 

Bulls Rumors: Miami Heat Considered ‘Slight Favorite’ to Land DeMar DeRozan

The Athletic's Jovan Buha reported Wednesday that the Miami Heat are viewed as ‘slight favorites’ to land DeRozan despite the Lakers also being interested in the six-time All-Star forward.

"The Lakers aggressively pursued Klay Thompson, but Thompson turned down their offer of more years and money from the Lakers to join the Dallas Mavericks, according to league sources," he wrote. “They've now turned their attention to DeMar DeRozan, though the Miami Heat are currently viewed as slight favorites to land the 15-year veteran and six-time All-Star, according to league sources."

However, for the Heat to sign the 15-year veteran, they would have to maneuver some contracts around as they reportedly have $3.81 million in cap space under the second apron. Unlike Rob Pelinka and the Lakers, Pat Riley and the Heat would do whatever it takes to add a player like DeRozan to compete in the Eastern Conference.

The Heat could utilize a sign and trade with Chicago for DeRozan, which a couple of teams have tried in free agency. But would the Bulls be interested in trading Duncan Robinson or Terry Rozier?

That’s a tough question to answer as the Bulls try to figure out what to do with LaVine and Nikola Vucevic if they want to go into full rebuild mode. 

Nonetheless, we should expect to see the rumors heat up for DeRozan as the offseason progresses and contending teams inquire about different acquisition possibilities.

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