Clippers’ Close Call With DeMar DeRozan Revealed: Report

DeMar DeRozan Clippers phone call

Getty It appears the Clippers just missed out on DeMar DeRozan.

The Los Angeles Clippers were literally on the way to meet with DeMar DeRozan before he signed with the Chicago Bulls, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

On the August 3 Posted Up Podcast, Haynes revealed that while DeRozan had previously been linked to both the Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers, the Clips were en route to get a deal done with him, but Chicago beat them to the punch. Based on what Haynes is saying, the Clippers were prepared to do a sign-and-trade with the Spurs, but it very likely would not have compared to the offer Chicago had.

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DeRozan’s Agent Called Clippers at Last Minute

Haynes says higher-ups from the Clippers organization were en route to meet with DeRozan when they got a phone call from his agent:

“He was planning on meeting with the Clippers,” Haynes said, via Bleacher Nation. “Then, about an hour later, I reported he is taking the Chicago Bulls deal. So, behind the scenes, this is what happened: The plan was for them to meet. The Clippers brass was driving on their way to DeMar’s house. Things got a little more interesting with the Bulls, and DeMar DeRozan’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, called – it looked like a deal was gonna get done with Chicago – he called the Clippers out of courtesy and he was like, ‘you know what, let’s not waste any time, out of respect for you guys, let’s cancel this meeting. He’s going to go elsewhere.’”

Haynes also said DeRozan was not willing to settle for just any base offer. The Clips had the $5.9 million Tax-Payer Mid-Level Exception to offer the Bulls in exchange for DeRozan, and that probably wasn’t enough.

“DeMar DeRozan was not going to any team and taking the Mid-Level,” Haynes added. “He wasn’t. Not the full Mid-Level, not the Tax-Payer Mid-Level. He wasn’t having it.”

DeRozan Had Hinted He Would Be Open to L.A.

DeRozan did kind of set the rumors connecting him to both Los Angeles squads off himself.

“You’d love to have the opportunity to play at home, especially if they want you, why not?” DeRozan said on Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay podcast in late July. “I think it would work [with LeBron and Anthony Davis]. We’re smart basketball players and it’s all about coming together.”

That didn’t happen, but the Clippers have been preoccupied with keeping the team together, shoring up key players like Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson, and Nicolas Batum, who signed a new two-year deal on Monday. Clippers President of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said after the NBA draft that keeping the squad from last year together was going to be the team’s top priority, and it has been.

“We’d like to bring Reggie back. We would like to bring Nico back. Serge is a free agent and we hope he opts in. We have other free agents as well. We will continue to go through it. We are hopeful that we can continue continuity and guys want to be here,” Frank said in late July, via the Los Angeles Times.

While continuity is key, with Kawhi out indefinitely, you have to expect the Clips aren’t done scouring the league for potential trade or free agency targets. Stay tuned, Clipper Nation.

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