The Los Angeles Lakers are poised to make a splash this offseason as they seek a third star to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis and the team could look to a Western Conference rival to get the deal done.
Sam Quinn on CBS Sports touted the Lakers as a landing spot for Spurs star DeMar DeRozan, who appears to want out of San Antonio next season.
A report surfaced this week from Ben Standig and Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic that cited an agent, who said: “DeMar doesn’t like San Antonio and doesn’t want to be there.”
DeRozan is weighing a player-option for next season that would pay him a whopping $27 million — likely much more than he’d get as a free agent, having not made an All-Star team his last two seasons in San Antonio. However, he could opt-in and try to force his way out via trade.
For what it’s worth, DeRozan did dispute the rumors. that he’s unhappy in San Antonio in an Instagram post, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation from running wild.
DeMar DeRozan Not a Good Fit For Lakers
The Lakers are more of a narrative-driven landing spot than anything else. DeRozan is a Los Angeles native and was a huge Kobe Bryant fan growing up. Suiting up for the purple and gold would probably be a dream for DeRozan — but not a logical one at this point in his career. As Quinn writes, a package involving Danny Green, Avery Bradley and JaVale McGee could get the trade done money-wise. But McGee and Bradley would both have to opt-in on their player options and it’s unlikely that’d be enough for the Spurs to pull the trigger on a trade.
DeRozan averaged 22.1 points, 5.6 assists and 5.5 rebounds last season as the Spurs missed the postseason. While he can hold his own, he’s also not exactly a fit for the Lakers system. He’s a liability at times on the defensive end and is not a threat from the outside — something that is key when playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He shoots 28.2 from beyond the arc for his career and averages less than one per game. The value of giving up system fits like Bradley and Green would not be good for the Lakers.
Anthony Davis Expected to Run It Back in LA
Aside from trying to bring in a third star to bolster a repeat effort, the Lakers have a lot to work out this offseason. Premier among those tasks is signing Anthony Davis, who is free agent but expected to return to the Lakers. Davis spoke briefly on the idea of re-signing with the Lakers after winning the title.
“I had a great time in L.A. this first year. This has been nothing but joy, nothing but amazement,” he said. “Over the next couple of months, we’ll figure it out. I mean, I’m not 100 percent sure, but that’s why my agent [Rich Paul] is who he is, and we’ll discuss it and figure it out.”
Davis is expected to sign a two-year deal with the Lakers, with a player option after the first season, per Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
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