The NBA has entered the latest chapter of record-breaking deals, surprising trades, and disgruntled players forcing their way out of town during this summer’s free agency period.
Some context: In the initial hour of the market’s opening, teams committed a combined $1 billion on signings. Those were highlighted by Kyrie Irving, Draymond Green, Kyle Kuzma, and Jerami Grant all resigning with their respective teams for multi-year, $100 million-plus deals. Those moves are all worth watching for Illinois sports betting NBA futures.
However, not every team has decided to pursue a blockbuster move that will enhance a roster’s overall depth and construct a team capable of contending for a championship. Look no further than in the Windy City.
Bulls Offseason Moves Draw Scrutiny
During this offseason, the Chicago Bulls have encountered increasing pressure for the decisions that they have committed to. Nikola Vucevic and Coby White have agreed to new contracts, while the front office added Jevon Carter and Torrey Craig as free agents. These acquisitions fall short of propelling the Bulls to a higher level of competitiveness, offering minimal help to their core players, DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine.
The Bulls are +17000 longshots to win the 2023-24 NBA title for those using the DraftKings bonus code Illinois.
DeRozan will be entering the final season of his three-year, $85 million contract while also reaching the latter stages of his prime. Undoubtedly, the 33-year-old has surpassed the expectations of what the contract may suggest, emerging as Chicago’s most dependable player in the last two years. It remains uncertain if the Windy City will witness the six-time All-Star achieve championship glory in Chi-town.
When the Bulls successfully landed DeRozan two years ago, it was a significant victory for the team and city. But which other franchises have found their investments to be highly rewarding?
IllinoisBet.com, your home for the best Illinois sports betting promos, decided to take a look back at the best signing of each free agency class going back to 2018. To qualify for this list, the player must have signed with a new team and contributed all win shares to the team they signed with. We used free agency records from Sportrac.com and statistics from Basketball-Reference.com to compile the list.
Best NBA Free Agent Signings Since 2018
Other Notable Signings For Comparison
DeRozan Shines As Elite Free Agent Signing
The Chicago Bulls committed more than $28 million annually to a free-agent DeMar DeRozan in 2021, while surrendering multiple picks in a sign-and-trade deal with the San Antonio Spurs. It seemed a high-stakes gamble, especially for a then-31-year-old shooting guard.
That same season, the Bulls also inked Lonzo Ball to a four-year, $80 million contract to share the backcourt with their franchise player, Zach LaVine.
Critics were wrong. DeRozan’s 17.3-point win share was the best among those signed in the free-agency class of 2021, according to basketball-reference.com, That class includes Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball, who had a 9.8 and 2.2-point win share, respectively.
Since the 2021-22 season, DeRozan has played 150 games, averaging 26.2 points, 5 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game. DeRozan has been efficient, shooting 50.4% from the field. During two seasons in the Windy City, DeRozan has been selected to two All-Star games, serving as a testament to his contributions to the Bulls.
Who Else Is Among Best Free Agents
The shooting guard joins a list spearheaded by LeBron James, the best free agent signing in 2018, Jimmy Butler in 2019, Bogdan Bogdanovic in 2020, and Jalen Brunson in 2022.
Currently, the Chicago Bulls are in the lower half of the league as far as NBA title odds at Illinois sportsbook apps, indicating the lack of star power moves during this free agency period.
Stay with us at IllinoisBets for the latest on the Chicago Bulls next season.