DeMar to Chicago Was a Good Idea

DeMar to Chicago Was a Good Idea

A preseason survey of NBA scouts and executives ranked different offseason moves around the league. One of the survey questions was selecting the worst move made in the offseason. Tied for first place was the Chicago Bulls’ signing of DeMar DeRozan, tied with the New Orleans Pelicans, well, everything.

At the time of the sign-and-trade, the majority of NBA followers considered the new contract DeMar signed to be highway robbery. $84 million over three years is a steep price for a player many considered to be past his prime. DeMar spent three seasons in San Antonio following the Kawhi Leonard trade, where the franchise struggled mightily to regain its former glory from the Tim Duncan era.

DeRozan didn’t make a single All-Star game despite making three in a row while in Toronto just previously. Sure, you can chalk that up to the competition in the West being tougher for the guard position, but DeMar also saw a decline in scoring during those seasons as well as a diminished win rate.

This is without mentioning the fact that this was a sign-and-trade, meaning that besides the fat contract and the so-so stats, Chicago had to give up a protected first-round pick and two second-round picks to make the deal happen. Before seeing the team in action, it’s rather understandable to assume this was a poor decision by the Bulls brass.

Boy, has DeMar proven the haters wrong so far.

DeMar DeRozan as a member of the San Antonio Spurs. Image Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Through eight games so far this season DeRozan has averaged 27 points per game on 50.6% shooting, including a career-high 38.9% from three. To put this in perspective, DeMar’s current career-high in three-point percentage is 33.8% back in the 2015-16 season. He’s also only 0.3 points shy from matching his career-high for a season.

Another important factor to account for is the historically bad shooting percentages the league has seen to start the new season. The current season averages sit at around 44.6% and 34.2% for overall and distance shooting respectively. This is a considerable drop from seasons prior. Some players have complained about the new regulation ball or the new foul moves, but neither has seemed to disrupt DeRozan’s game.

It’s important to note that eight games is a pretty small sample size. A lot can happen between now and the rest of the season, but Chicago fans have to be happy with the start they’ve had. They’re 6-2 to kick off the season and have a top five net rating for the entire league. If this team continues to gel as they have, the Bulls might have one of their most promising seasons in many, many years.

Featured Image Credit: Kamil Krzacynski – USA Today Sports

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