After the NBA Finals wrapped up last week, the league has quickly turned the page to what’s shaping up to be an active offseason. This year’s draft class is among the deepest in recent memory and a group of talented players will hit free agency this summer in search of new deals.
Already DeRozan has indicated that he’d have interest in playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, citing his desire to play close to his hometown of Compton and also play for a championship contender. Appearing on Club Shay Shay with Shannon Sharpe, the veteran NBA wing revealed that he wouldn’t say no if the iconic franchise came calling.
“You can’t ask no kid if they’d want to play (close to) home and they’ll say ‘No,’” DeRozan said. “At some point you definitely want to have that opportunity. And especially, if they want you, why not?”
Former NBA executive and current ESPN analyst Bobby Marks also added validity to the DeRozan and Lakers pairing by outlining what it would take for the two to strike a deal. He also called the franchise the “most logical destination” for the former Spurs wing.
“I think the most logical situation is going to be trying to work out some type of sign-and-trade… I would circle the Lakers as a possible destination just because it fits,” Marks explained on “The Jump” on Monday. “It fits as far as DeRozan wanting to go back home and playing for a championship level team. I think it fits because if you’re San Antonio you can maybe recoup Kyle Kuzma instead of losing DeRozan for nothing… The Lakers for me are probably the most logical destination.”
After Marks detailed DeRozan’s fit with the Lakers, Marc Spears chimed in to add the Clippers to the pool of teams that the veteran wing has expressed interest in. Given the Los Angeles connection and the team’s ability to compete for a championship as soon as next year, the Clippers could very well factor into the 31-year-old’s impending free agency.
After DeMar DeRozan says his free agency decision will be based on which team he thinks he can win a title with, Bobby Marks says look for DeRozan to possibly head to LA, either as a Laker OR as a Clipper: pic.twitter.com/iY3enrhfXF
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) July 27, 2021
DeRozan’s production has tapered off since his days as an All Star, but he has still proven to be a capable isolation scorer and above average playmaker. With the Spurs last season, he averaged 21.6 points, a career-high 6.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds a game. However, he still showed his limitations from beyond the arc, shooting a lackluster 25.7 percent from deep on 1.2 attempts per game.
Despite his struggles from three, DeRozan will provide whatever team he lands on with a reliable shot-creator who has a wealth of experience in the NBA. For teams like the Lakers and Clippers, a player like the 31-year-old would be a valuable addition in a crucial offseason.
Before free agency gets underway the NBA’s 30 teams will turn their attention to the upcoming draft. The event will take place on Thursday night and air on ESPN and ABC.