The Los Angeles Lakers are attracting quite a bit of attention from veterans around the league, many of who are willing to take significant pay cuts in order to chase a ring alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.
Some notable names that have come up are DeMar Derozan and Rudy Gay — two veterans on the San Antonio Spurs who are hitting unrestricted free agency. There might be opportunities for the duo to make more money elsewhere, but are reportedly willing to take less to join the Lakers, per Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
With Westbrook now headed to Los Angeles, multiple league personnel contacted by B/R expect there to be significant interest from several veterans, including DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay and Carmelo Anthony, to forgo higher salary opportunities elsewhere and join the Lakers in pursuit of a championship.
Gay is 34 years old but a valuable veteran thanks to his well-rounded game and 3-point shooting. Gay averaged 11.4 points per game last season to go with 4.8 rebounds. What might be most compelling to the Lakers is the fact that he shot
38.1% on his 3-pointers.
DeMar DeRozan Has Talked Openly About Joining Lakers
DeRozan, a four-time All-Star, has expressed interest in joining his hometown team and has even talked about taking less.
“You try to balance it as best as you can,” DeRozan told Shannon Sharpe on his podcast Club Shay Shay. “At this point, you got to weigh out the opportunity of winning a championship kind of more, especially with the career that I have had. I have been fortunate to make a lot of money. The ultimate goal is to always compete for a championship.”
DeRozan appeared in 61 games for the Spurs and averaged 21.6 points and 4.2 rebounds and a career-high 6.9 assists. He was the focal point of the Spurs offense, taking 15-plus shots per game.
“It’s all about winning at this point. Going into my 13th season and seeing all these guys just competing for a championship,” DeRozan said. “At this point, you got to weigh out the opportunity to winning a championship kind of more. Especially with the career I’ve had. I’ve been fortunate to make a lot of money but at this point, the ultimate goal is to compete for a championship.”
Carmelo Anthony Reportedly Another Option for Lakers
Carmelo Anthony is another veteran free agent that would be looking to combine forces with the superstar trio on the Lakers. He’s 36 years old but is still a capable scorer at the NBA level, averaging 13.4 points per game last season with the Portland Trail Blazers. He played just over 24 minutes per game. He also shot over 40% from beyond the arc, making him a welcome addition to a Lakers squad that just traded away two of its better 3-point shooters in Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to get Westbrook.
The Lakers are “very interested” in the prospect of signing Carmelo Anthony, per ESPN’s Jordan Schultz.