Can Lakers actually make a run at DeMar DeRozan this offseason?

DeMar DeRozan, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Lakers’ general manager Rob Pelinka is never a stranger to making big moves during the NBA offseason and he could look to do so again this offseason for his organization. After being booted out of the playoffs in the first-round to the Phoenix Suns in early June, speculation began about what moves the Lakers would make to add more talent to their roster. 

The ideas of trading for Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Russell Westbrook and even Kyle Lowry have remained key talking points for Lakers fans, but so has potentially going after Spurs free agent DeMar DeRozan. The soon-to-be 32-year-old wing just finished up his third season in San Antonio and is set to be one of the bigger names available in free agency this offseason. 

DeRozan made $27.7M with the Spurs during the 2020-21 season, but now finds himself as an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He has not ruled out a possible return to San Antonio just yet, but DeMar DeRozan has made his intentions clear out wanting to test his value on the open market to see what kind of offers he will receive. 

Right now, the Los Angeles Lakers have only seven players under contract, including Montrezl Harrell who has a $9.7M player option for next season, but they are already $9.9M over the salary cap. With Dennis Schroder, Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker and others being free agents, the Lakers find themselves extremely tight financially, so how could they possibly go after DeMar DeRozan?

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Nobody said it would be easy, but there are some scenarios in which the Lakers could add the 4x All-Star to their roster. One scenario is to add him via a sign-and-trade with San Antonio, allowing the Lakers to move guys like Kyle Kuzma, Ketavious Caldwell-Pope and potentially Montrezl Harrell, but there is a scenario in which the Lakers could sign DeRozan outright in free agency. 

According to Broderick Thomas of The Los Angeles Times, DeRozan does have some interest in returning home to Los Angeles, even if he has to take a pay cut from the $27.7M he made last season. Whether or not he is willing to take close to a $20M pay cut to do so remains a big question mark, but DeRozan does seem intrigued by the idea of playing with LeBron in L.A. 

During an interview with Shannon Sharpe on Club Shay Shay, DeMar DeRozan opened up about his free agency this offseason and seemed to be thoroughly entertained by the idea of playing back home in Los Angeles. 

Seeing as DeRozan is interested in talking with the Los Angeles Lakers, this organization should be preparing to do everything they can to add him to their roster for next season. Bringing in DeMar DeRozan would surely mean that guys like Schroder, Drummond and possibly Caruso would be gone unless they are willing to return on minimum deals, but having three All-Stars on their roster would allow the Lakers to once again contend for a championship. 

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Injuries really hurt their chances of defending their 2020 title in the postseason this year, but overall, they do not have much talent outside of LeBron and AD. When one of these guys went down, the other could not carry the Lakers, which is why they need that third high-level talent like DeRozan. 

Dennis Schroder was thought to be this kind of player for the Lakers this past season, but he never materialized to be that third key talent they needed to get past the Suns in the first-round. Schroder is a great player, but his future in Los Angeles seems to be gone. 

Adding DeRozan to their roster gives the Lakers yet another offensive weapon to utilize and gives them someone who they can rely on to hold things down on the floor when Davis or James are not on the court. The Brooklyn Nets have their own “Big 3” with Durant, Irving and Harden, which is why LeBron James and Co. want to add another star player so they can have their own “Big 3.” 

READ MORE: Predictions for Stars in NBA Trade Rumors: Beal, Simmons, Westbrook, Leonard, Turner

Theoretically, the Lakers can actually make a run at signing DeMar DeRozan this offseason, but a lot of things would need to happen. Not only would they have to renounce their rights to Dennis Schroder as a free agent, but as mentioned earlier, they would likely have to part ways with guys like Alex Caruso, Andre Drummond and Talen Horton-Tucker, as all of their “cap space” would go towards bringing in DeRozan. 

The rest of their roster would have to be filled out with guys willing to take on minimum contracts, so again, the Lakers could run into problems with their supporting cast not being strong should they bring in DeMar DeRozan. 

The possibility of bringing in DeMar DeRozan this offseason is actually quite real on the Lakers end of things, even though they really do not have the “cap space” to make something like this happen. If DeRozan is willing to take a substantial pay cut and the Lakers are willing to pay a lot in luxury taxes, they can make this dream a reality this offseason. 

READ MORE: Predictions for Stars in NBA Trade Rumors: Beal, Simmons, Westbrook, Leonard, Turner

DeMar DeRozan’s market has not been as big as it seems like it should be this offseason with not many big names being available, which is why going to the Lakers and chasing rings is a real possibility this offseason for the veteran wing. Los Angeles should be viewed as the number one competition to the Spurs in regards to bringing back DeRozan this offseason, especially since he is from there. 

LeBron James is no stranger to being a part of “Super Teams” and he could once again look to be a part of something special with the Lakers showing interest in signing DeMar DeRozan this offseason.

About Brett Siegel 1870 Articles
Brett Siegel joined NBA Analysis Network as an NBA Insider and Journalist in 2020 after previously working with Louisville Basketball and FanSided covering the NBA. He was a member of our staff until April 2022.