In a March 30 column called “Hypothetical Lakers Trades to Boost Pursuit of 2024 NBA Title,” Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report proposed that the Los Angeles Lakers trade Malik Beasley and a future draft pick to the Chicago Bulls for All-Star DeMar DeRozan.
“The Lakers need more shot-creation and shot-making around LeBron James and Anthony Davis,” Buckley wrote. “That’s why they initially gambled on Russell Westbrook, and it’s why they targeted D’Angelo Russell at the deadline. They need more scoring than either could provide, though. That’s why they could consider swinging a deal for DeMar DeRozan, the Compton native who’s on course to average better than 24 points on 50-plus percent shooting for the second consecutive season. He isn’t the outside shooter L.A. would ideally pair with its two stars, but the trade budget only stretches so far. Turning one future first-rounder and a shooting specialist into a top-tier scorer and solid secondary playmaker is a win, even if the fit isn’t perfect.”
DeRozan signed a three-year, $85 million contract with the Bulls in August 2021 as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the San Antonio Spurs. He will have made over $257 million in his career once his current deal with Chicago expires. The USC product took part in meetings at LeBron James’ house during the summer of 2021 and thought he would sign with the Lakers, but things changed after Los Angeles acquired Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards.
The Lakers Were Interested in Trading for DeMar DeRozan at the Trade Deadline
The Lakers were interested in trading for DeRozan at the trade deadline, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. The six-time All-Star told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports in November 2021 that he “felt like going to the Lakers was a done deal” in the offseason of 2021.
“I felt like going to the Lakers was a done deal and that we were going to figure it out. I was going to come home,” DeRozan told Haynes. “The business side of things just didn’t work out. A couple of things didn’t align. It didn’t work out. It’s just part of the business, part of the game.”
DeRozan has a close relationship with James and Anthony Davis. The California native is open to playing for the Lakers if the Bulls decide to rebuild this summer, sources told Heavy Sports.
Darvin Ham Sent a Message on Malik Beasley After the Lakers Beat the Bulls
After the Lakers defeated the Bulls on March 29 in Chicago, Los Angeles head coach Darvin Ham spoke about Beasley, who is struggling as of late. The guard is averaging 7.4 points while shooting 31.7% from the field and 35.5% from beyond the arc over his last five games.
“I don’t know if he’s lost confidence. He’s probably a little frustrated,” Ham said. “Again, I’m behind him 1,000% and he’s going to continue to get his minutes and we just got to continue to set great screens for him, encourage him to continue to shoot the ball and to continue to compete defensively. There’s no magic pill. He’s just got to keep playing ball.”
Beasley has a team option worth $16.5 million for next season.