Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan Again Doesn’t Rule Out Playing For Hometown Lakers
DeMar DeRozan, Lakers, Bulls
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After a disappointing exit from the 2024 NBA Playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers are in line for some major roster changes in the offseason.

Los Angeles has been known to star chase when given the opportunity and they’ve already been linked to guards like Trae Young and Donovan Mitchell, who appear ready for a change of scenery. Regarding Mitchell, the Lakers reportedly are standing at the front of the line should the star guard officially ask out from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Another name to look out for is Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan, who is set to hit unrestricted free agency this summer. DeRozan had another solid year for the Bulls but reportedly declined a two-year, $80 million extension to stay with the team.

With his future up in the air, DeRozan raised some eyebrows when he admitted he again hasn’t ruled out playing for his hometown Lakers, via FanDuel TV’s “Run It Back”:

“I mean, when I was a kid, everybody knows I’m a Kobe guy at the end of the day. Always been a Kobe guy, been a Laker fan since day one. You can’t never say no about playing at home, especially playing for a historic team like the Lakers. So time will tell, we’ll see where the cards fall. Until then, I’ll see what happens. Always want to be where I’m wanted and I know what I’m gonna do from there, so we’ll see how it plays out.”

DeRozan has been linked to the Lakers a number of times, most notably during the summer of 2021 when there was a reported deal in place to land him before they pivoted to Russell Westbrook. As things stand, the Lakers don’t have the requisite cap space to outright sing DeRozan in free agency unless he is willing to take their mid-level exception, so the only viable option would be a sign-and-trade scenario though that also becomes complicated when considering what salaries would need to go out to make a trade legal.

Unless DeRozan is willing to take a significant paycut, it’s hard to imagine him coming back to play in Southern California. Although it’s a fun thought exercise that has become a yearly tradition around this time, the Lakers are better suited looking at other targets.

Lakers ready to make offer for Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell

With the Cavaliers eliminated on the postseason, all eyes will be on Mitchell, who is extension-eligible. If Mitchell decides he doesn’t want to stay in Cleveland long-term, Los Angeles is apparently ready to make an offer for him.

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