The 2020-21 NBA season is fast approaching and rumors around the trade and free agency season are heating up. A juicy one involving the Lakers, Spurs, and DeMar DeRozan comes from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor:
The Spurs are up to something. League sources say they’re shopping point guard Patty Mills, with teams such as the Bucks and Sixers expressing interest. A deal with Philadelphia would probably bring back Josh Richardson, league sources say. 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.
The Lakers have been linked to DeRozan before. The USC product is an All-Star and is coming off his best playmaking season in his second year with the Spurs after being traded from Toronto for Kawhi Leonard.
From a pure talent perspective, it’s not difficult to see DeRozan as an upgrade over both Green and Kuzma who had their fair share of struggles during the playoffs despite the Lakers’ title-winning run. Still, it’s hard to see a hugely positive impact for the Lakers in acquiring DeRozan. The former Raptor is a much worse defender than both Green and Kuzma and doesn’t spread the floor around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The only benefit would be his ball-handling and creating his own shot but the Lakers just won a championship playing tremendous defense and efficient offense.
Of course, it’s important to note that this time of year in the NBA offseason, that rumors can come from all types of sources. This could simply be some posturing from the Spurs to get DeRozan’s value in the market up. Or the Lakers want to bring an LA kid back home and add to their star power as they aim for a repeat.