Everyone knew that DeMar DeRozan was an elite-level player when he decided to sign with the Chicago Bulls in 2021, as he had previously been named an All-Star four times in his career and been an All-NBA talent, but very few were expecting him to put together the MVP-like season he did this past year.
Leading the Bulls to a 46-36 record, the most wins Chicago has had since the 2014-15 season, DeRozan led this team to the playoffs for the first time since 2017 and ended up averaging a career-high 27.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 50.4 percent from the floor and a career-high 35.2 percent from three-point range.
DeRozan finished the 2021-22 season ranking second in the league in total points scored (2,118) and fifth in points per game (27.9). He also received one fifth-place vote for the league’s MVP award.
Many have doubted DeMar DeRozan throughout his career and even ahead of the start of last season, some were saying that DeRozan signing with the Chicago Bulls was the worst signing of the 2021 offseason.
Well, I guess all we can say to this is “Tell us you know nothing about the NBA without saying you know nothing about the NBA,” because DeRozan has always been an elite-level talent and elevated his game to new heights in his 13th season.
As far as those who continue to doubt DeRozan, the now five-time All-Star does not seem to care and he even stated at Media Day on Monday that he finds “humor” in those who continue to doubt his abilities in this league.
“At this point, I always find humor in it,” DeRozan said. “You always try to find reasons to be motivated. At this point I have so many other motivational factors, that it becomes laughable to me.
“I always use whatever I can take, it's free energy.”
It is definitely “free energy” indeed and if we know anything about DeRozan heading into the 2022-23 NBA season, it is that we have yet to see the peak of what he can accomplish in his career.
The Bulls are looking to expand on the success they found a season ago and while the Eastern Conference as a whole will be a gauntlet all year long, Chicago knows that they have the players they need in order to find postseason success.
Alongside All-Stars Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan figures to once again be the leader of the Bulls, a franchise that is in search of making it back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1998.