Among the many names linked to the Los Angeles Lakers ahead of free agency this offseason, one of the most interesting is veteran wing DeMar DeRozan. Though he isn’t much of a shooter, DeRozan would give the Lakers another scorer who has greatly improved as a playmaker and defender over the last couple of seasons.
DeRozan will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but with the Lakers relatively limited in terms of salary cap space, the idea of signing him outright would seem like a longshot. But perhaps that isn’t the case.
In an appearance on the Club Shay Shay podcast with Shannon Sharpe, DeRozan said that at this point in his career, the most important thing to him is winning a championship:
It’s all about winning at this point. Going into my 13th season, seeing these guys compete for a championship […] you try to balance it as best as you can (winning and making money) but at this point you gotta weigh out the opportunity of winning a championship more. Especially with the career I’ve had, I’ve been fortunate to make a lot of money, but at this point the ultimate goal is always to compete for a championship.
Something else the Lakers have on their side is that DeRozan is a local guy, growing up in Compton and attending Compton High School. DeRozan admits that a return home is something he’d be open to as well:
Growing up, you can’t ask no kid, if they want to play at home, they would say no. I mean, at some point you definitely want that opportunity, especially if they want you. Why not? It’s a great opportunity.
If he were to come to the Lakers, which seems as if it could be a real possibility, DeRozan would have to figure out how he would fit with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. That is the least of his concerns, however:
You take Brooklyn, as an example. Three of the greatest scorers this league has ever seen and they balanced it out well. It sucks that they couldn’t be healthy through the whole thing because I think they would have been in the Finals, but those 3 guys, come on. They figured it out, they worked it out, and they had a great rhythm when they played together so it’s definitely possible to work. It’s all about just coming together. We’re all smart basketball players.
Point guard has been the most discussed position in terms of the Lakers with the likes of Kyle Lowry and Russell Westbrook being mentioned as possibilities. The Lakers have also been reportedly spoke with the Sacramento Kings about a Buddy Hield deal.
But based on these comments from the man himself, the Lakers look like the top contender for DeRozan’s services with him signing for the midlevel exception being a possibility.
Lakers have offered Kuzma & Caldwell-Pope to ‘almost every team’
The idea of DeRozan being willing to take less money to sign with the Lakers outright would be outstanding news as the team’s trade assets are limited as well. But Rob Pelinka continues to explore all options to see what he can get.
The front office has reportedly offered some package of Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to nearly every team in the league. It is obvious that the Lakers plan on making some moves this offseason and there is no shortage of ways they will attempt to do so.
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