It looks like a potential Chris Paul trade for the Los Angeles Lakers isn’t going to happen but that doesn’t mean the team can’t still bring in an All-Star. There are a number of guys out there who could be on the move. One name to keep an eye on is DeMar DeRozan of the San Antonio Spurs.
They’re also looking to unload LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan; I’ve heard the Lakers have interest in acquiring DeRozan (for Kyle Kuzma and Danny Green), and as mentioned, the Warriors may want Aldridge. Any separate trade could influence their choice here.
DeRozan hasn’t made an All-Star game over the last two seasons but he’s still a really effective scorer. He hasn’t averaged less than 20 points a game since 2013. He’s entering the last year of his contract so the Lakers would only need to make it work for this upcoming season.
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Would Trading for DeRozan Mean the Lakers Let KCP Walk?
If the Lakers were to trade for DeRozan, they’re going to have a lot less money to spend on their free agents. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is probably the most notable name who is expected to test the market. He was clutch for the Lakers in the playoffs and they’d probably like to have him back.
However, taking on DeRozan’s contract makes that difficult. They both play shooting guard so a trade for DeRozan might mean the Lakers are moving on from Caldwell-Pope. Having Avery Bradley, DeRozan and Caldwell-Pope on the roster feels like overkill at shooting guard. That said, DeRozan played some small forward for the Spurs last season and had success. Perhaps the plan would be to put him in that position if they traded from him.
Is DeRozan Worth Kuzma & Green?
The answer to this question could vary depending on who you talk to but the Lakers would likely be just fine without Green and Kuzma. Combined, the two men averaged 20.8 points a game. DeRozan averaged 22.1.
The problem is that DeRozan is a really bad 3-point shooter and the Lakers already aren’t great from beyond the arc. Green had a bad stretch in the playoffs but he’s still one of the better shooters in the NBA. If the Lakers gave up Green in a DeRozan trade, they absolutely have to figure out how to replace that 3-point shooting.
Adding DeRozan would be exciting and would give the Lakers the third star they’ve been looking for. He’s probably not as a big of a star since he left Toronto but he could recapture some magic in Los Angeles. His 3-point shooting ability is concerning but getting him in return for Green and Kuzma could be a boost for the Lakers.