NBA Trade Rumors: DeMar DeRozan Top Candidate to Join LeBron James and Lakers

Published 07/06/2021, 3:19 PM EDT


The Lakers front office, on the back of a gut-wrenching season and a first-round exit, will aim to make some major changes to their roster.

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While a complete roster overhaul is not on the cards just yet, the franchise must address key roster gaps that derailed their championship aspirations.

As the teams head into the off-season, the rumor mill is abuzz. One particular name that partially addresses the Lakers’ shooting and play-making troubles is San Antonio Spurs’, DeMar DeRozan.

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Laker Nation needs to face the truth. Even though it is hard to accept, LeBron James isn’t getting any younger, as he heads into his 19th season!

Therefore, this off-season also holds significance for the team since they must answer a pivotal question – Do we put up our future on the line to win now? Or do we invest in the future?

Mar 21, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers injured forward LeBron James (left) and Anthony Davis against the Phoenix Suns during the first half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

L.A. missed out on a prime opportunity to nab another A-list point guard at the trade deadline in March when the front office pulled the plug on the Kyle Lowry trade.

While the management was open to trading KCP and Dennis Schroder, they were unwilling to let young guard Horton Tucker go.

Making a case for DeMar DeRozan

What makes matters worse, is that LA has 10 free agents this summer, with 7 of them being unrestricted! Given AD and LeBron James‘ current contracts, it leaves the Lakers with little flexibility in cap space to orchestrate a super-star FA signing.

DeRozan presents an interesting case for L.A. given his ability to facilitate and occasionally run the offense while being a knock-down mid-range shooter.

Even though the proposed trade is purely hypothetical, it presents an offer for DeRozan while trading away Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and the 22nd pick in the 1st round to San Antonio.

While DeRozan doesn’t present a good fit given his numbers beyond the arc, he currently averages 21.6ppg/4.2rpg/6.9apg a game at almost 50% shooting from the field.

The only fork in the road for a deal as lucrative as this is that if signed, it puts L.A. in the hard-cap space, something the front office will look to avoid.

The off-season

What will LA’s approach be? The LakeShow faces major cap-space and financial restrictions as they head into this offseason. To contend for a title, should the front office re-sign 2020 champions, Horton Tucker and Alex Caruso? Or should they hand them away in pursuit of another star?

Apr 10, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Marc Gasol (14) and small forward Kyle Kuzma (0) and power forward Anthony Davis (3) and small forward LeBron James (23) watch from the bench during the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters

What’s interesting, is that former teammates Kyle Lowry and DeRozan are both free agents this summer, and both have seen interest from the Purple and Gold in the past.

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Either would be handy 3rd option stars for the Lakers, as they move ahead with Anthony Davis soon to take over the torch.

So, the question stands, can the Lakers do whatever it takes to pull off a roster overhaul that could see either Lowry, DeRozan, or an all-star shooter like Mike Conley don the Purple and Gold this season? Surely Laker Nation will be pumped for the off-season!

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Nikhil Naik

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