12x All-Star DeMar DeRozan had an enormous opportunity this past offseason.
After 9 seasons with the Raptors, and 3 with the Spurs, DeRozan had seen little success in the playoffs, and many were doubting his value as an NBA All-Star.
As a free agent, DeRozan was at a crossroads in his career, with the option to chose his next destination. In the end, he chose to ink a fresh new deal with the Chicago Bulls, who have a good shot at making a deep run in the 2021 playoff race.
But, apparently, the star forward almost joined the Knicks instead, before the Bulls made an offer he just couldn't refuse.
“Turns out, according to two NBA sources, [Knicks GM Scott] Perry was leaning toward a bolder pursuit, that of San Antonio standout swingman DeMar DeRozan. He made the All-Star Game his last three seasons in Toronto before being traded to the Spurs in 2018. DeRozan, though, would have cost more per season. According to the sources, DeRozan had sincere interest in the Knicks, but instead ended up with a generous deal in Chicago – a three-year, $85 million package. The Knicks inked Fournier for four years, $78 million (with bonuses) while retaining a team option for the final season.”
Evan Fournier was a solid acquisition for New York. As a talented offensive player and pure perimeter shooter, he should help them take a step up in the East.
But one has to wonder how much better they could have been had DeRozan signed instead.
There are some obvious holes in his game, and he is nearing the end of his prime at 32-years-old. Still, his talent, experience, and leadership could make all the difference for Chicago.
We'll see before too long if he made the right decision.