There was plenty of skepticism surrounding the Chicago Bulls’ acquisition of DeMar DeRozan in the offseason. Not only did the Bulls trade a good amount to get him, but they gave him nearly $82 million over three years as part of the sign-and-trade deal. But instead of this move backfiring, DeRozan has been worth every penny and more, helping vault the Bulls up the standings to become one of the best teams in the NBA.
DeRozan’s play has been exemplary, and at this point of the 2021-22 season, he belongs in the MVP conversation. He’s averaging 26.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists while shooting 50.0% from the field for a 19-10 Bulls team, which has them second in the Eastern Conference behind the Brooklyn Nets.
Furthermore, DeRozan’s on/off splits are massively in his favor, and his performance when the game matters most has been killer. The Bulls star is leading the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring per game at 8.0, and only Jayson Tatum has more fourth-quarter points overall. DeRozan is shooting over 54% in the fourth quarter this season.
DeRozan’s steady hand in the clutch has been crucial in a number of wins and just another reason why he deserves MVP consideration. While surely behind a few of the top candidates, I discussed his place in the MVP discussion on the latest episode of Blue Wire’s Cash Considerations podcast:
“He’s an All-NBA guy right now, you could argue he’s a top-five MVP candidate, behind those top three of KD, Steph, Jokic. You could probably put him at No. 4 right now. … Given where the Bulls’ record is at, his stats, his crunch-time prowess, definitely a fringe MVP guy. He’s not going to win it, for sure. Those other guys, they got bigger names, the Warriors have the best record in the league, or right there. Jokic is historically great with his numbers. I guess Giannis is right there as well, maybe you could probably put Giannis above DeRozan. But maybe right there at No. 5, No. 4, No. 5. Just an outstanding season so far, shutting up all the haters.”
Again, DeMar DeRozan almost certainly won’t win MVP this season. But much like Joakim Noah back in 2013-14, he currently deserves to be on the fringe of the conversation given his performance this season. Put some respect on his name.
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