East Notes: Bulls, DeMar DeRozan, Sixers, Nic Batum, Heat


Veteran guard/forward DeMar DeRozan suggested he’s focused solely on winning games, and not the looming possibility of a contract extension.DeMar DeRozan

I honestly don’t think about it at all. I never have. It doesn’t worry me or stress me out,” DeRozan said in an exclusive interview with K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “Again, I control what I can control. And in due time, let it speak for itself.”

DeRozan was also asked if loyalty is important to him.

“Once I’m in, I’m in. That’s the type of friend I am,” he told Johnson. “If I call you my friend, I’m in it with you. You can call me in the middle of the night and I’ll walk with you to the grocery store if that’s what you need. That’s just how I view it — fun times, tough times. I’m not just in it for perfection. I’m in it for whatever else comes with it. That’s my mindset and I don’t waver from that.”

  • In case you missed it, despite the rumors, the Bulls aren’t actively looking to trade shooting guard Zach LaVine. We have that full story and LaVine’s response to the rumors right here.



Coach Erik Spoelstra is all in when it comes to the NBA’s new In-Season Tournament.

“The last time there was a move like this, it was a play-in,” Spoelstra said, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “I remember everybody saying, ‘Oh, it’s a horrible idea, this and that.’ But I think it’s been really good for the league. … So this, I think, just give it a little bit of time and I think, ultimately, it’ll be good for the league.”

  • I wrote about what some retired players think (and what I think) of the tournament in my latest Dribbles, though I should warn it comes with a Cavs angle. You can check that out here.
  • The Heat’s offense is struggling, is struggling as badly as it did last season, wrote Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in his latest mailbag. “The Heat’s offense is bad, but it also was bad at this stage last season (largely due to turnovers) and only got marginally better, with the team still somehow able to make it to the NBA Finals,” Winderman wrote. “But now it’s as if they are running two offenses, one that features more of Tyler Herro freelancing, and one that is more system-driven with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.”

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