The Bulls are off to a slow start this season, going 7-14 in their first 21 games, so it’s possible the team will look to rebuild by trading a veteran like DeRozan, who is in the final season of his contract with the team.
“Of all the players out there people are floating for the Heat, they’re not close to doing anything now, but DeMar DeRozan would be the one that has legs,” the Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports. “He is as close to what they’re looking for as they’re going to find. Perfect fit, really.”
Miami was recently named as a preferred landing spot for DeRozan if he were to be traded, but it doesn’t appear that a trade is imminent. Still, the Heat are a team to keep an eye on based on the Eastern Conference executive’s comments.
Miami was active in the trade market in the offseason, as the team reportedly pursued players like Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday, but nothing came together.
After losing guard Gabe Vincent and sharpshooter Max Strus in the offseason, the Heat could use another rotation piece like DeRozan to really solidify themselves as contenders in the Eastern Conference.
This season, DeRozan is averaging 21.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. A six-time All-Star, DeRozan is a proven scorer that would take some pressure off of Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo on offense.
With Herro already getting injured this season, the Heat may want to have another option like DeRozan in case a player goes down again later. Herro missed almost all of Miami’s run to the NBA Finals last season.
A DeRozan trade would be a short-term investment for the Heat (barring some sort of new contract), which may not cost the team as many assets as a deal for Lillard or Holiday would have in the offseason. DeRozan is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in the coming offseason.
There is still plenty of time before the NBA’s trade deadline this season, so Miami shouldn’t have to rush a deal with Chicago to bring DeRozan on board.
For now, it appears that the former No. 9 overall pick is at least a player to watch for the Heat in the coming months.