DeMar DeRozan Thought He Was Going To Los Angeles Lakers

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

The Los Angeles Lakers took a major risk during the 2021 NBA offseason when they acquired Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards. It was a move that shocked a lot of people, as they were actively working on other deals.

One of those deals were with the Sacramento Kings. Things got so far along that the players, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell of the Lakers and Buddy Hield of the Kings, were told of the deal. But, at the last second, the Lakers pivoted to the deal with the Wizards, sending Kuzma, Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a draft pick to D.C.

It turns out that the Lakers were working behind the scenes to get deals done with free agents as well. DeMar DeRozan, a Compton native, has spoken previously about how he believed he was going to end up in the purple and gold.

He spoke about discussing things with LeBron James and how one thing can change the dynamics. In this case, that one thing DeRozan is referring to is Westbrook ending up with a homecoming of his own.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls & Los Angeles Lakers Updates

Recently, while making an appearance on The Old Man & the Three, DeRozan was asked by former NBA player J.J. Redick just how close the Lakers thing was. Once again, DeRozan shared that he thought it was a done deal and he would be heading back home to Los Angeles.

“I was hell bent on playing for the Lakers”

That is certainly one way to ruin a vacation. DeRozan was in Mexico preparing for a homecoming, but that was quickly snatched away from him as the Lakers went in another direction. That is the nature of the business in the NBA and DeRozan learned it the hard way as he was left scrambling to find other options.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls & Los Angeles Lakers Updates

Luckily for DeRozan, he was able to find another suitor. The Chicago Bulls executed a sign-and-trade deal with the San Antonio Spurs, landing DeRozan and agreeing to a three-year deal worth just under $82 million.

He had an excellent first season with the Bulls, turning in numerous masterful performances in the fourth quarter to help lead the team to victories. He averaged a career-high 27.9 points per game to go along with 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls & Los Angeles Lakers Updates

That leaves the Lakers and their fans asking themselves, what if, when it comes to DeRozan being part of the team. If he came close to playing at that level, combined with the pieces they would have been able to keep that were traded away in the Westbrook deal, it is hard to imagine things not being drastically better than they were.