The Los Angeles Lakers might be hellbent on making the playoffs this season, but that won’t stop the front office from planning for the off-season as they bid to continue rebuilding their roster into a championship contender.
However, according to Sam Smith of Bulls.com, the Lakers are unlikely to acquire DeMar DeRozan this summer, as the veteran scorer will potentially remain with the Chicago Bulls for the remainder of his current contract.
“DeMar has been pretty open that he thought he was going to the Lakers and home as a free agent two years ago and that’s where he wanted to go. But he’s since said he believes in finishing what he started and has grown to like Chicago and the Bulls…I expect DeRozan to be with the Bulls next season…He becomes a rental after this season, so his value isn’t quite as high and thus I expect he finishes his contract with the Bulls,” Smith wrote.
DeRozan, 33, has been in solid form this season, averaging 25.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game while shooting 51.2% from the field and 31.5% from the perimeter in 58 regular-season games.
DeRozan Almost Joined The Lakers in 2021
During the summer of 2021, DeRozan was widely expected to join the Lakers via a trade with the San Antonio Spurs. However, as things turned out, Los Angeles pivoted to acquire Russell Westbrook, leaving the door open for the Bulls to swoop in and trade for the veteran scorer.
When speaking on a September 29 episode of JJ Redick’s Old Man & The Three podcast, DeRozan explained how the situation unfolded and noted how he was ‘hellbent’ on joining the purple and gold that summer.
“To my knowledge, I thought it was a done deal…I’m asleep one morning, and I get a call from Kyle Lowry, and he said ‘they just made the trade for Russ; what’s going on? I thought the deal was done for you to go to the Lakers?’…I’m looking at my phone like ‘damn, that did happen. Well, I guess that’s out the window.’ In my mind, that was the only option for me to go to,” DeRozan said.
As things would turn out, the Westbrook trade didn’t have the desired effect, and now, the former MVP is plying his trade with the LA Clippers, and the Lakers are still rumored to hold interest in DeRozan.
Patrick Beverley Requested a Trade From The Lakers
After spending half of the season with the Lakers, Patrick Beverley is now sharing a locker room with DeRozan, having been traded to and subsequently brought out of his contract by the Orlando Magic before signing with the Bulls as a free agent.
When speaking on a recent episode of The Pat Bev podcast, the former Lakers guard revealed that he had asked the front office to trade him, as he wasn’t fond of some things that were happening behind the scenes.
“To some people, it could be that Pat Bev got traded; in all reality, it was like, ‘No I didn’t like what was going on, and let’s find a better home for me,’” Beverley said. “Not that, ‘He ain’t good enough, let’s get rid of him.’ All that s**t was my decision. You gotta think, I’m making a decision that was my decision. They honor my request, but at the same time now I’m sitting here without a home. It just hit a little different.”