The NBA is set to be a circus in the next couple of weeks as the 2020 NBA Draft and start of free agency are around the corner. The league will also open the transaction window in the coming days, which could lead to a flurry of trade activity.
There have already have numerous rumors about teams and players, and the chatter will only get louder as the start of the 2020-21 season approaches. Russell Westbrook has reportedly asked out from the Houston Rockets, while it appears the Oklahoma City Thunder are open to moving Chris Paul.
Both players have been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, though a trade for either doesn’t appear likely. The Lakers nonetheless may have a potential void at point guard, so Westbrook and Paul at least make sense on paper.
Aside from the two veterans, Los Angeles has also been tied to San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan. In an appearance on “All the Smoke,” DeRozan was candid in discussing his reaction to the Lakers trade rumors:
“Without a doubt. You always had those dreams of doing it (playing for the Lakers). For me, I’ve learned being in the league for so long, you always want to be wanted. When you see things about teams wanting you, you can’t feel a certain type of way. You’ve got to feel good about it. … To be wanted by a championship team that just came off a championship, how could you not feel a type of way? Especially me being from L.A., it’s like, ‘Damn. My hometown team want me? They just came off a championship.’ It definitely is crazy to be able to see that. Anybody know whatever jersey I got on, I’m going to lay it all out there on the line and represent the best way I can.”
DeRozan is from Compton, California, and grew up idolizing the Lakers and Kobe Bryant, meaning there is a natural connection to be made. The shooting guard did not sound opposed to a possible move and at 31 years old still has ability as a scorer.
The Spurs missed the postseason for the first time in 20 years and appear ready to shift to a rebuild, leaving open the possibility that DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge could be moved for draft assets and young players. As things stand, the Lakers can offer pieces like Kyle Kuzma and the No. 28 pick in the upcoming draft for DeRozan, which in theory should be enough.
DeRozan is heading into the last year of his contract that will pay him nearly $28 million, and Los Angeles would need to include a player like Danny Green to make the salary math in a trade work. While the veteran guard would be a worthwhile addition to the roster, the purple and gold might be better off adding to the current team instead or aiming their sights higher on a better fit.
How DeRozan would fit on Lakers roster
If the Lakers were to trade for DeRozan, he would instantly slot in as their third scorer and would serve as a reliable option whenever LeBron James or Anthony Davis sit.
He is not a 3-point shooter and his defense has steadily declined, but Los Angeles had issues scoring in the half court and DeRozan could help alleviate stagnant possessions.
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