Los Angeles Lakers Receive: F DeMar DeRozan
San Antonio Spurs Receive: F Kyle Kuzma, C Montrezl Harrell, and No. 22 pick in 2021 NBA Draft
This hypothetical trade is one that gives both teams exactly what they are looking for. The San Antonio Spurs can get some value in return for DeMar DeRozan via sign-and-trade instead of seeing him walk for nothing in NBA free agency. The Los Angeles Lakers get another strong player that helps their goal of winning now.
For San Antonio, they are getting a player close to their timeline in Kyle Kuzma that can immediately step into DeRozan’s role in the starting lineup. While not yet fully developed as a playmaker, Kuzma has shown flashes in his ability to create offense for others, something DeRozan evolved into, as he was more often than not the lead initiator of the offense.
There are some things the former Utah product could still improve upon, such as his 3-point shooting consistency. But, given his improvements defensively and the track record San Antonio has developing players, they could unlock some potential Kuzma was unable to tap into while with the Lakers.
In Harrell, San Antonio is getting an expiring contract they could use to help facilitate other deals. While not a prototypical Gregg Popovich center, his energy and rim-running ability are something every team can find spot minutes for.
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The first-round pick is what really entices the Spurs here, as they would be getting another crack at finding a diamond in the rough late in the first round. There is arguably no better organization than evaluating and unearthing talent than San Antonio.
While the Spurs could be happy with their haul, let’s look at how this trade makes sense for the Los Angeles Lakers.