As it usually happens around the NBA, the start of free agency was complete mayhem. The Los Angeles Lakers signed most veterans, and the Chicago Bulls were one of the biggest winners of the first couple of days.
One of the most shocking signings of free agency came precisely from the Windy City. Even though most people expected DeMar DeRozan to go back home and play in Los Angeles, Arturas Karnisovas swooped in at the eleventh hour and got his star.
DeRozan was also drawing plenty of interest from the Los Angeles Clippers. But, according to a recent report, it seems like neither he nor his agent ever considered that team as a real possibility for him.
DeRozan Didn’t Even Want To Meet With The Clippers
According to Chris Haynes, DeRozan’s agent Aaron Goodwin called the Los Angeles Clippers out of mere courtesy, just to let them know that they should just cancel their meeting and call it a day:
"The Clippers’ brass were driving,” Haynes said, as quoted by All Clippers. “They were on their way to DeMar’s house. Things got a little more interesting with the Bulls. DeMar DeRozan’s agent, Aaron Goodwin...called the Clippers out of courtesy and was like ‘you know what, let’s not waste anybody’s time. Out of respect for you guys, let’s cancel this meeting.’”
Apparently, DeRozan had already made up his mind and was ready to sign with the Chicago Bulls, who offered him more money than, well any other team could’ve offered him in the offseason.
“The Clippers’ offer, if they were given the chance to make it, likely would not have been able to compete with that of the Bulls’. Like Chicago, LA would’ve had to acquire DeRozan via sign-and-trade, as they only had the $5.9 million Tax-Payer Mid-Level Exception to offer for DeRozan straight up. Even if LA were willing to give up key pieces of their rotation in a sign-and-trade, it would be tough to reach the figure the Bulls were able to get to,” reported Haynes.
Now, DeRozan will look to bring the show back to the Windy City next to Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, and former USC teammate Nikola Vucevic. And while he may not have the same shot at a ring that he would’ve had in Los Angeles, he’ll definitely have more zeros in his bank account.