DeMar DeRozan to the Sacramento Kings

DeMar DeRozan will not return to Chicago this fall.

The veteran will head to Sacramento to join the Kings on a sign-and-trade deal with the Bulls, according to a report by ESPN, ending his three-year tenure as a crucial catalyst in Chicago.

This is the latest major step toward a serious rebuild for the Bulls, breaking up the central trio that defined the roster’s focus over the past three years. The Bulls have lost the heartbeat of their locker room in the process as the team embraces a rebuilding process around younger players.

The Bulls will receive fourth-year shooting guard Chris Duarte in the trade in addition to two second-round picks and cash considerations. Duarte averaged 3.9 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 12.2 minutes per game for the Kings last year. He is a career 34.7% shooter from behind the arc. Duarte started his career with the Indiana Pacers after being selected No. 13 in the 2021 draft. This season is the final year of his rookie contract.

The San Antonio Spurs — another former team of DeRozan’s — facilitated the three-way trade, receiving Harrison Barnes and the final two years of his salary (rated at an $18 million annual average) which allowed the Kings to accommodate DeRozan under the cap.

DeRozan’s new contract will be a three-year deal valued at more than $70 million, according to ESPN.

After joining the Bulls on a sign-and-trade deal with the San Antonio Spurs in 2021, DeRozan was a key part of the “big three” at the center of the Bulls roster through the past three seasons alongside Zach LaVine and Nikola Vučević.

DeRozan enjoyed a career renaissance in Chicago, earning back-to-back All-Star selections in 2022 and 2023 after a three-year absence from the weekend during his tenure with the Spurs. The early months of his debut year with the Bulls were chock full of promise as he provided balance to LaVine’s high-flying shooting.

Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan drives to the basket during a game between the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, at the United Center. (Vincent Alban/Chicago Tribune)

Despite seeing a slight dip in his scoring last season, DeRozan averaged 25.5 points and 5.1 assists over three seasons in Chicago.

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