Bulls' Updated Roster, Starting Lineup After DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball Signings

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 3, 2021

San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan (10) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in San Antonio, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP Photo/Eric Gay

After an active opening day to the free-agent negotiating period, the Chicago Bulls continued to make moves Tuesday.

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported they struck a three-year, $85 million deal with DeMar DeRozan. It's a sign-and-trade that will see the Bulls send Thaddeus Young, Al-Farouq Aminu, a future first-round pick and two second-rounders to the San Antonio Spurs, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski reported Monday that Chicago struck agreements with Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso to fortify the backcourt.

With the addition of DeRozan, here's how the roster is shaking out:

Chicago Bulls Depth Chart

PG: Lonzo Ball, Coby White, Alex Caruso, Javonte Green (RFA), Devon Dotson (RFA)

SG: Zach LaVine, Ayo Dosunmu

SF: DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams, Troy Brown Jr.

PF: Lauri Markkanen (RFA)

C: Nikola Vucevic

Prior to the reported agreement, NBA insider Marc Stein reported the Spurs might be interested in Lauri Markkanen, making him a logical inclusion in a sign-and-trade with Chicago.

Instead, the Finnish big man remains a restricted free agent. The Bulls could simply re-sign him, or they could use him as a trade asset with another franchise.

After accounting for DeRozan, the front office doesn't have a lot of money available with which to fill out the roster. As was the case with DeRozan, a sign-and-trade involving Markkanen is a workaround for that.

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42

The Bulls are roughly $19.5M below the tax, $26M below the hard cap with 6 open roster spots.<br><br>They still have bird rights to restricted FA Lauri Markkanen.<br><br>San Antonio is right at $6M in room after the trade. <a href="https://t.co/cy23UcNtlH">https://t.co/cy23UcNtlH</a>

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42

A ton for work still left to do with Chicago even after adding Lonzo, Caruso and now DeRozan.<br><br>8 players under contract <br><br>Besides bird rights on Markkanen, vet minimum exception is available.

Trading for Nikola Vucevic didn't get the Bulls into the playoffs last year as their playoff drought stretched to four seasons. But they added Vucevic knowing he'd still be under contract through 2023.

Throw Ball, Caruso and DeRozan into the mix and Chicago is at the very least shaping up to be a top-eight team in the Eastern Conference in 2021-22. The big question is how much higher than that the Bulls can go.

And in a seven-game playoff series, throwing out a lineup that includes LaVine, DeRozan and Vucevic presents obvious problems. DeRozan, a career 28.1 percent three-point shooter, creates spacing issues on offense, and the three collectively could get exposed badly on defense.

Nate Duncan @NateDuncanNBA

The DeRozan move strikes me as pretty insane for the Bulls. He'll be on a bad contract, they gave up a 1st to get him, and I'm not even sure how much helps their offense due to off-ball limitations. And the less said about their defense with LaVine, DeRozan, and Vuc, the better

But there really wasn't a realistic home run acquisition on the table that would've suddenly made Chicago a title contender. Catching up to the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets seems out of the question for the foreseeable future.