Three Potential Sign-And-Trade Options For DeMar DeRozan

The biggest free agent left on the market after a busy first week of deals is DeMar DeRozan, who has made waves this summer with appearances alongside Compton native Kendrick Lamar, and is looking to leave the Chicago Bulls as they set their sights on a franchise reset. The problem for DeRozan is, almost all of the teams that started this summer with cap space have used it up and the options for a sign-and-trade have gotten a bit thin.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, DeRozan is looking for $20-25 million per year, and a sign-and-trade has to be for three years, so it’d take a healthy commitment from a team to bring him in at that number. Beyond that, the Bulls don’t want to take back money (especially nothing long-term), per Woj, further complicating matters.

There will be suitors for DeRozan, but figuring out the terms of a deal is a bit tricky given these parameters. For example, there are teams like the Clippers and Lakers that would probably love to bring him home to L.A., but whether they’d want to do so at the cost of Norman Powell or Rui Hachimura to make it work financially is a very different question, especially since they’d need to find a third team to take themm in. Here we’ll look at a trio of possibilities for the former All-Star, including one complicated (but fun) deal to start.

Sacramento Kings

The Kings are the known suitor for DeRozan at the moment (he’s a good wing and they’re interested in all of them), but the trick is figuring out the third team to take salary back, as the Bulls apparently aren’t interested in taking on a contract like Harrison Barnes or Kevin Huerter. You could do a three-team deal and loop in Detroit or Utah and see if they’d be willing to eat a pair of contracts and, at $20 million per year, the Kings could make it work. That’s probably the route they will try to go, but let’s think bigger.

I would like to propose something bolder and more aggressive that I think would help four different teams achieve their goals this summer. The Orlando Magic can get to $8.6 million in cap space if they want to, and while they’ve done well this summer in adding Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, I think they still could use some shooting. If the Kings are ready to move on from Kevin Huerter, feeling he is repetitive with Keegan Murray and Malik Monk, that’s the kind of reserve shooter that would be very helpful for this Orlando team. You can make it work financially (according to the Fanspo trade machine) by having Orlando send Anthony Black to Chicago, where he can provide some point guard depth behind Josh Giddey and fit into their timeline entering his second season while the Magic seem to be accelerating faster than he may be able to keep up. While I understand the Bulls are looking to avoid being a tax team and don’t want to take back money, we can bring the Jazz in as the Lonzo Ball dump site, tacking on Portland’s lottery protected 2025 first (which rolls over all the way to 2028 before becoming a second) to facilitate that part of the deal. The Kings, meanwhile, could send Chris Duarte’s expiring and a future second the way of the Jazz.

All four teams would end up under the tax (I know, throw the parade) and I think it would actually push each of them towards their goal for this season. The Magic get another legit shooting threat and bolster their backcourt rotation. The Kings get the frontcourt upgrade they’ve been desperate for and still could look to move Harrison Barnes for something else. The Bulls get out of the tax and add a young guard. The Jazz add more picks to their stash and don’t cost themselves any future flexibility by eating two expirings.

The Trade
Kings get: DeMar DeRozan
Bulls get: Anthony Black
Magic get: Kevin Huerter
Jazz get: Lonzo Ball, Chris Duarte, 2025 lottery protected Portland first, future second

San Antonio Spurs

Perhaps DeRozan would consider a return to the Spurs, where he spent three seasons and had a lot of success playing with Gregg Popovich. They could give DeRozan the kind of three-year, ~$60 million deal he’s seeking and add another veteran to bring some structure alongside Victor Wembanyama after already adding Chris Paul. The Spurs are reportedly interested in Lauri Markkanen as well, but DeRozan wouldn’t preclude them from making other additions as they could flip Devonte’ Graham’s non-guaranteed deal, cash to cover the $2.9 million he’s owed if waived, and a second round pick to the Bulls to help them create a large trade exception.

The Trade
Spurs get: DeMar DeRozan
Bulls get: Devonte’ Graham, future second round pick, cash

Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks cannot tank, because the San Antonio Spurs own too many of their first round picks. That means they really need to remain competitive even as they retool the roster, having already traded away Dejounte Murray to the Pelicans. While Dyson Daniels is a nice piece and they recouped some draft assets, they are severely lacking in terms of self-creation options besides Trae Young. DeRozan would certainly fill that need, and the Hawks have a few deals in the $22 million range that would be able to make the money work. Perhaps they could get the Jazz to take on Clint Capela’s expiring deal for the price of a couple seconds, and send a protected second the way of the Bulls, allowing Chicago to emerge unscathed financially from a DeRozan deal. Ideally, the Hawks would send out De’Andre Hunter, but with three years left on his deal, it’s very hard to figure out who would take that deal on without asking for first rounders that Atlanta won’t want to part with.

The Trade
Hawks get: DeMar DeRozan
Bulls get: Protected future second round pick
Jazz get: Clint Capela, two future second round picks