Spurs Would Have Facilitated DeRozan Trade To Lakers

DeMar DeRozan, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Hindsight is always 20/20 when it comes to looking back at transactions that teams could have made in the NBA offseason. For the Los Angeles Lakers, the acquisition of Russell Westbrook is one that will haunt them for years to come.

Westbrook is one of the best players the league has seen in the last decade or so. Averaging a triple-double for a season is no easy feat and he accomplished it four times, including last season with the Washington Wizards.

The thought process behind the move makes some sense. While not a perfect fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Westbrook would provide the team with a third star that could carry the load at any given time. Injuries ruined any chance the three of them had to build chemistry and cohesion, which is a big reason Los Angeles didn’t even qualify for the NBA Play-In Tournament.

While impossible to predict what would happen had the Los Angeles Lakers not acquired Russell Westbrook, it is hard to imagine things would be this bad. Had they gone through on a deal to acquire DeMar DeRozan, the Lakers could very well be gearing up for the postseason, much like the Chicago Bulls currently are.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Could Lakers Look To Trade Russell Westbrook To Thunder?

“From what I am told, San Antonio was interested in making a deal [to sign-and-trade DeMar DeRozan to the Lakers],” Windhorst said. “But what they wanted and what the Lakers may have wanted may not have — it never got to that point. As you know, Gregg Popovich doesn’t like the Lakers. I don’t think he was going to make it easy. But I do think San Antonio would have done business.”

A franchise isn’t going to let grudges keep them from obtaining assets that can put them in a better position to succeed. A package of Kyle Kuzma and draft picks could have been where things started when it came to negotiations between the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Could Lakers Look To Trade Russell Westbrook To Thunder?

Costing much less than Russell Westbrook, the Lakers likely would have been able to retain Alex Caruso in free agency in addition to adding DeRozan. The Buddy Hield trade that was discussed would still have some life as well as the team would have some more tradeable pieces.

Even if they didn’t make another deal with the Sacramento Kings, the Lakers could have certainly used Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell this season, the two players along with Kuzma, who was traded to Washington.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Could Lakers Look To Trade Russell Westbrook To Thunder?

Not trading for Russell Westbrook wouldn’t have magically made LeBron James and Anthony Davis healthier, but based on what DeMar DeRozan has accomplished this season with the Chicago Bulls, it is easy to imagine he would have been able to keep the Los Angeles Lakers afloat in the meantime. The San Antonio Spurs were willing, too.

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