NBA Rumors: DeMar DeRozan tipped free-agency hand by declining Bulls extension?

DeMar DeRozan's decision to not accept a short-term contract extension from the Chicago Bulls is quite telling.
Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks
Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks / Elsa/GettyImages

NBA Rumors: Did DeMar DeRozan tip his free-agency hand by declining a contract extension from the Chicago Bulls?

Even though the 2023-24 NBA season ended up being quite an unmemorable one for the Chicago Bulls, DeMar DeRozan was one of the lone bright spots for the team. During his age-34 season, DeRozan continued to be one of the most productive players for the Bulls. He was the big reason why Chicago still managed to qualify for the NBA Play-In Tournament even though Zach LaVine missed the entire second half of the season.

The Bulls missed out on the NBA Playoffs again but they had an admirable effort down the stretch when they could've completely given up on the season. Heading into free agency now that his contract has expired, there are many questions that are surrounding the futures of both the Bulls and DeRozan.

While DeRozan has made it clear that he wants to re-sign with the Bulls, it is quite interesting that he has declined a monster two-year contract extension from the team. The initial reporting is that he wants a long-term deal and not a two-year extension ($40 million per year), but you can't help but wonder if he tipped his hand with such a decision.

Does re-signing with the Chicago Bulls make sense for DeMar DeRozan?

It's clear that DeRozan has enjoyed his time with the Bulls over the past few seasons. However, in a vacuum, it doesn't make the most sense for Chicago to re-sign DeRozan. In fact, you can make the argument that a deal between the two doesn't make sense for either side.

The Bulls are likely heading into a retooling or even rebuilding of the roster as they enter the offseason with the intent of trading LaVine. Considering that DeRozan is going to be 35 years old at the start of next season, I'm not sure he's going to want to be around for another losing season.

At the same time, while DeRozan would like some contract security at this point in his career, and perhaps one last big payday, I also can't help but think that he deserves a shot to win an NBA Championship before the end of his career.

Narrowly missing out on one in Toronto was tough to digest. Having not had a real shot to compete for a title since has to haunt him. Sill an effective player at this point in his career, this has to be something he also values heading into free agency.

Could DeRozan end up re-signing in Chicago? Sure. But when it comes to overall winning, it may not be the best decision for him. And there has to be part of him that knows that heading into the offseason. Perhaps it played a part in not accepting this extension offer from Chicago?

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