Bulls guard/forward DeMar DeRozan is having a fantastic season in his new digs, arriving in a sign-and-trade with the Spurs in the offseason.
But he was expecting to end up in his hometown of Los Angeles, with the Lakers, as opposed to Chicago, where he is today. The Lakers opted instead to trade for star guard Russell Westbrook.
“I felt like going to the Lakers was a done deal and that we were going to figure it out. I was going to come home,” DeRozan told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “The business side of things just didn’t work out. A couple of things didn’t align.
“It didn’t work out. It’s just part of the business, part of the game. My next option was definitely Chicago. So, looking back at it, it worked out well.”
DeRozan, 32, scored 38 points to lift the Bulls past the up-and-down Lakers in LA on Monday. He is averaging 26.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists on the season.
His agent, Aaron Goodwin, steered him toward a three-year, $85 million sign-and-trade deal with the Bulls, Haynes reported.
The Bulls are 10-4 and near the top of the Eastern Conference. The Lakers are 8-7 and near the middle of the pack in the West.
“But there’s always motivation. It may be just to come home and play in front of friends and family, competing against teams you grew up watching,” DeRozan told Haynes. “There are all sorts of motivations that you carry and you try to channel that energy into the game. I find that in every game, but definitely coming back to your hometown, you want to play well and you have that motivation to put on a great show.”
DeRozan said he is especially motivated after people started to write him off with the Spurs — as if he were had gone from regular All-Star to an average starter.
“To be honest with you, I don’t ever tell anybody this but I just try to be an inspiration for people that’s told they can’t do something or that they’re not good anymore,” DeRozan told Haynes. “Never let a narrative deter your confidence or your belief in yourself to fall victim to somebody else’s narrative.”