Report: Lakers showing interest in DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic as calls for Bulls to blow it up grow

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly are interested in Chicago Bulls veterans DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic as calls for the team to blow things up grow.

The Bulls have gotten off to a slow start in the 2022-23 campaign, winning just 11 of their first 25 games. The team is currently the No. 11 seed in the Eastern Conference, a pretty big step back from last season when it finished with the No. 6 seed.

“Everyone is watching Chicago very closely,” one NBA source told Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus. “They’re so poorly constructed, they need to blow it up.”

A knee injury to point guard Lonzo Ball hasn’t helped the Bulls’ chances of contending, and the team may have to make some major decisions in the near future. Vucevic is a free agent following the 2022-23 season.

DeRozan, who was an All-NBA selection in his first year in Chicago, is under contract through the 2023-24 season.

The Lakers would probably have to give up a pretty hefty package to acquire DeRozan and Vucevic, but there’s no doubt that they would improve the team’s current roster.

“According to NBA sources, the Lakers are interested in both Vučević and DeRozan,” Pincus wrote. “If L.A. is willing to give up two first-round picks (2027 and 2029) along with Russell Westbrook as a buy-out candidate, the Bulls may end up in a better lottery position to retain their pick in June. This is the draft to do it.”

The Lakers have lost three straight games to fall to 10-15 on the season, but the team has looked much better since its dreadful 2-10 start.

Still, adding offensive threats such as DeRozan and Vucevic would take some pressure off of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The star duo has been very injury-prone the last few seasons, so adding both Bulls players could help the team if James or Davis is out of the lineup.

So far this season, DeRozan is averaging 25.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 50.9 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from beyond the arc. He’s one of the best scorers in the NBA and would be a huge lift alongside James and Davis.

Vucevic has also been solid this season, but he does have his limits defensively. The two-time All-Star is averaging 16.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per contest while shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from 3-point range.

Obviously, the Bulls would have to be willing to part ways with both of these veterans in order to get a deal done, and it’s unclear if the team plans to blow things up at this point in the season.

Chicago was expected to contend for a playoff spot in the East after bringing back star Zach LaVine this past offseason, but things have not gone to plan.

The Bulls could attempt to turn things around by rebuilding once again, but that also may frustrate LaVine, who just signed a new deal.

It will be interesting to see how both teams handle their rosters as the trade deadline approaches.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.