DeMar DeRozan

DeRozan is letting his love for basketball lead him to his next contract

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DeRozan's job description is two words long: play basketball.

He made that clear Monday amid questions about the ongoing negotiations regarding a possible contract extension with the Chicago Bulls.

"My agent. He deals with that. I tell him to leave me the hell alone so I can focus on my five kids and my regular-day life," DeRozan said. "I'm not kidding you. I really try not to focus on that or deal with that. I let them handle whatever needs to be handled from that standpoint. If I get a call about something being something, then I go from there."

With his previous three-year deal expiring next offseason, the star forward is eligible for a four-year extension worth roughly $179 million.

It's a storyline that will loom over Bulls management as the organization makes a crucial decision about the team's direction.

From DeRozan's viewpoint, his situation this season is the same as always. It's a blessing.

"To be honest with you, as cliché as it may sound, I really don’t wake up or go to sleep with that on my mind," DeRozan said when asked about his future with the team. "Every day, I wake up with the opportunity to know I can walk on my feet. I’m thankful, I’m grateful for those moments. From there on out, I just try to push forward. When I come to work and step on this basketball court, I just appreciate the opportunity to still play. Just like when I was kid, to be honest with you. I wish I had something cooler to say, but I’m just happy to be able to play and put on an NBA jersey, to be honest with you."

DeRozan has never been one to rock to boat. He's not interested in talking money, asking for trades or involving himself in the business side of things. His singular focus on playing basketball is what's allowed him to perform at such a high-level in the latter stage of his career.

"It all comes from the love of the game," he said. "I just love basketball so much, the joy that it brings, being around the guys – the drive that they give me. I don't take not one moment of this for granted, to be honest with you. And the moment I feel that slipping in any type of way, if I wake up like, 'I ain't feel like working out today,' if I have two or three days consisting of that, that's when I know my love is kind of winding down and it's time for me to just sit my ass at home."

Artūras Karnišovas, executive vice president of the Bulls, confirmed that DeRozan's contract negotiations are ongoing.

"The one thing I’m going to say is we love DeMar," he said. "The last two years have been unbelievable for us. Two-time All-Star. Second team All-NBA. He loves Chicago. Chicago loves him back. I’m very excited for this for DeMar."

"The goal at the end of the day is wanting to win," DeRozan said. "I look at it from both sides. It's just got to be a perfect balance for both of us, It's just got to make sense. That's how I take the approach about it. It's all about understanding what we can do to win.

"Obviously, [Chicago] is a place I want to be. It's a great place. So we take that out of the equation. It's just working out whatever makes sense for both sides. And I just control what I can control."

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