DeMar DeRozan insisted that he was trusting the back of the basketball cards.
The Bulls veteran was more than 43.4% certain of that.
“I’m not concerned about it at all,’’ DeRozan said after the latest loss to the Bucks on Monday. “Of course you want to be shooting well and right now we’re not, but we’re getting a lot of great looks. We can’t get frustrated with that.
“I know it’s going to turn for me and Zach (LaVine), for everybody.’’
That’s the quick fix for DeRozan with the team’s 4-7 start: His shooting history, as well as the history of his teammates, self-correcting itself and averaging out.
DeRozan is a career 46.7% shooter from the field. His first two seasons with the Bulls he actually shot 50.4% from the field in both years. He was currently sitting at 43.4% entering Wednesday’s game against Orlando.
LaVine was seconding DeRozan’s explanation.
After all, the All-Star guard was a career 46.3% shooter from the field and was sitting at a career-low 40.9%. LaVine was also a career 38.2% shooter from three-point range, but was hitting at only 30.9% from long range so far this season.
“It’s not like we’re not getting good (shots),’’ LaVine said. “We got to stick with it, trust our work. It’s frustrating because you expect yourself to do better.’’
So that’s the key to the turnaround? Trust the history and shoot better?
Maybe it’s that simple, but there’s also growing momentum that something bigger was building as the front office continued to watch its plan of continuity play out like a Greek tragedy.
According to a source on Tuesday, while LaVine nor his camp have not hinted about wanting to go elsewhere, executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas has again started kicking the tires on moving off of him.
Not that this is the first time Karnisovas has been open to trading LaVine – the Sun-Times, as well as multiple outlets, reported that he talked to teams about LaVine before last year’s trade deadline and again last summer – but now seems to be open to a more realistic asking price.
What does that mean immediately? Very little in a market in which teams are still finding their way three weeks into the regular season. A big-named player getting moved now likely falls in the category of a problem child. See James Harden or Kyrie Irving almost every year.
LaVine is far from that and feels this group can still turn the season around, said the source.
The unknown, however, remains: Is the front office holding on to that feeling?
If not and they are willing to take a big swing, all eyes should be on New Orleans and the brewing volcano between the organization and Zion Williamson. The often-injured forward told the media that he’s “trying my best to buy in right now,’’ questioning the game plan and how he’s being used.
Just the latest head-shaker in a growing list of questionable Williamson decisions. What isn’t a question is when Williamson does play, his production is All-Star caliber.
A LaVine and Patrick Williams package for Williamson, Larry Nance Jr., and throw in Kira Lewis Jr. to make the money work?
Former Bulls general manager Gar Forman is a special advisor for the Pelicans and fell in love with LaVine once, acquiring him from the Timberwolves in the 2017 Jimmy Butler trade.
That’s one way to try and fix what’s ailing this Bulls team and shake up a stale product.
Or just stay the course and hope DeRozan is right. Shoot better.