Why Magic Should Sign Bulls' DeMar DeRozan

Could signing free agent All-Star DeMar DeRozan improve the Orlando Magic's scoring struggles, or is the veteran too far past his prime?
Feb 10, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) dunks during overtime
Feb 10, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) dunks during overtime / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

ORLANDO — Now that the Orlando Magic are out of the playoffs, it’s time to look toward the future and figure out who the team should add this off-season.

One free agent who isn’t being talked about much but could help this team ascend is DeMar DeRozan.

While many people are focused on the elite three-point shooters to help improve the Magic’s No. 26 ranked three-point percentage, the most important thing is that the team adds scoring, and DeRozan has been a bucket for the past 15 years. 

The six-time All-Star and the three-time All-NBA selection has averaged 21.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in his career. Perhaps even more impressive, three of DeRozan’s four highest-scoring seasons have come in his current three-year stint starring on the Chicago Bulls, all while playing 74 or more games each season. 

Even though he’ll be 35 at the start of the next NBA season, DeRozan has shown no signs of slowing down. Last season, DeRozan averaged the second-most minutes of his career at 37.8 and started in 79 games. 

As far as scoring goes, you’ll struggle to find a more reliable player than DeRozan, regardless of age. As a Bull, DeRozan has shot 49.6 percent from the field, 33.6 percent from three (on 2.2 attempts per game), 51.8 percent on two-point attempts, and 86.7 percent from the free throw line. 

Orlando ranked No. 24 in points scored per game this past season with an average of 110.5. Meanwhile, DeRozan was the leading scorer for Chicago’s No. 22 ranked squad. Adding someone who has averaged 25.5 points, 5.1 assists, and 4.7 rebounds over the past three seasons makes the Magic a more formidable offensive threat. 

DeRozan might not be the most sought-after free agent due to his age and low-volume three-point shooting, but he could help take Orlando to the next level. 

He’s also known for mentoring young players. While with the San Antonio Spurs, DeRozan helped mentor Dejounte Murray into becoming an All-Star. Perhaps he could work similar magic for Orlando’s young core of Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, and Jalen Suggs and help them elevate their skills by sharing his wisdom with them as he did players like Murray and fringe All-Star Coby White. 

Don’t be shocked if the league’s premier mid-range assassin winds up on the Magic next season and helps elevate one of the league's best defensive teams into one of its best overall teams, thanks to his premier scoring skills.

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Isaiah Deanda