With the NBA season officially over, free agent rumors are rapidly picking up. Many of them are centered around the Los Angeles Lakers. The team has been linked to several big named players, including Damian Lillard and Chris Paul.
Names that big aren’t likely gettable for Los Angeles so they’ll be better off looking at some less expensive stars. DeMar DeRozan is one of the better shooting guards in the NBA but he’s a notch below superstar status. He won’t claim max money. According to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, DeRozan is gunning for a position on the team he grew up rooting for.
“DeRozan, who starred at Compton High and USC, has interest in returning home to play for the Lakers, even if it is for less than the $27.7 million he earned last season in San Antonio, according to people not authorized to speak publicly on the matter,” Turner wrote.
DeRozan would fill the Lakers’ need for a dependable third scorer. He averages 20.1 points a game in his career which would be an upgrade over Dennis Schroder, who was third in the team in scoring last season with 15.4 points a game. If DeRozan is really willing to take a pay cut to play with his hometown team, the Lakers should be very interested.
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Kyle Lowry Also Eyeing Lakers
The DeRozan information was notable enough but Turner didn’t stop there. He also revealed that DeRozan’s former teammate with the Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry could be aiming to play in Los Angeles.
“Though the Lakers didn’t acquire Lowry at the trade deadline, he remains interested in joining them, according to people with knowledge of his situation,” Turner wrote.
The Lakers aggressively pursued Lowry at the trade deadline and almost pulled off a deal. However, the team didn’t want to give up Talen Horton-Tucker in a trade. With Lowry set to be a free agent, Los Angeles will need to do a sign-and-trade to acquire him. Perhaps sending Schroder to Toronto for Lowry is on the table.
Could the Former Teammates Reunite on Lakers?
Turner’s report brings up a very interesting possibility. There was a time when Lowry and DeRozan were a great duo in Toronto. The two formed a strong bond over the years until DeRozan was dealt in the Kawhi Leonard trade. It now looks possible that the two could reunite in Los Angeles.
It would be incredibly difficult for the Lakers to pull off. They’d need DeRozan to take a serious pay cut and then they’d need Schroder to be willing to go to Toronto in a sign-and-trade. While DeRozan appears open to come home on a discount, making less than half the money he did last year is a different story. A starting lineup featuring LeBron James, Anthony Davis, DeRozan and Lowry would be the best in the NBA. However, that’s just a pipe dream for the team.