The DeMar DeRozan talk just won’t quiet down, specifically where the Los Angeles Clippers are concerned. DeRozan, who spent his first nine seasons with the Toronto Raptors and his most recent three with the San Antonio Spurs, has been the subject of trade rumors for months now, and his name keeps getting mentioned alongside the Clippers.
Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report put together five “realistic” trade proposals that might make sense for various teams now that the NBA draft is in the books, and he has the Clippers sending two key role players off for DeRozan in a sign-and-trade.
BR’s Trade Proposal: Luke Kennard and Ivica Zubac for DeRozan
In his latest trade proposal for BR, Bailey thinks Clippers guard Luke Kennard and big man Ivica Zubac in exchange for DeRozan would be enough for a sign-and-trade to go down between San Antonio and L.A. With The Athletic’s Shams Charania reporting Clippers’ veteran center Serge Ibaka is set to exercise his $9.7 million player option, keeping him in Los Angeles, it’s entirely possible L.A. would be willing to part ways with Zubac.
Plus, with L.A.’s top superstar sidelined for the foreseeable future, it’s reasonable to assume the Clips might be ready to make some big-time moves. Here’s what Bailey suggested:
There’s an argument to be made for the Los Angeles Clippers blowing it up. With Kawhi Leonard’s torn ACL potentially costing him all of 2021-22, it’s hard to imagine L.A. competing for a title next season. And piling that on top of age and a long list of health issues makes it hard to pencil in the Clippers as contenders in 2022-23. If they made Paul George, 31, and Kawhi, 30, available (assuming the latter picks up his $36 million player option), they could haul in some draft capital, get a head start on a rebuild and recoup some of what they lost when they traded for George in 2019. Instead of that route, though, let’s have them double-down on the win-now mentality they signaled when they added Kawhi and PG. DeMar DeRozan would be a high-end second option alongside George. And his defensive shortcomings could be covered in large part by Patrick Beverley, PG and Marcus Morris Sr. For the San Antonio Spurs, they are likely losing DeRozan in free agency anyway. If some team is willing to give them something for him, they should probably be interested. Luke Kennard and Ivica Zubac are certainly better than nothing. Kennard struggled to find a significant role in Tyronn Lue’s rotation, but he shot 44.6 percent from three last season. And Zubac could pair with Jakob Poeltl to give San Antonio 48 minutes of competent center play.
DeRozan Looking to Play for a Contender
“At this point, you’ve gotta weigh out the opportunity to win a championship kind of more,” DeRozan said, via CBS Sports. “Especially with the career I’ve had. I’ve been fortunate enough to make good money, but the ultimate goal is always to compete for a championship.”
Could the Clips put together a trade package more enticing than their crosstown rivals, who just added Russell Westbrook? If they included the right players in the deal, it seems like a definite possibility.