Here’s How Lakers Could Pull Off Trade For Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan, Lakers, Bulls, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The start of the 2023-24 NBA regular season has been a somewhat rocky one for the Los Angeles Lakers. They have a lot of new faces to work into the rotation so they knew it would take some time for things to gel, but the transition has been easier for some compared to others.

Christian Wood has been solid off the bench as a sparkplug in the front court. Cam Reddish has shown signs of life in recent games and is finding his footing with the team as well. Rui Hachimura is getting comfortable as the first wing off the bench and has been efficient offensively.

But, if there is one thing head coach Darvin Ham has struggled to find to this point, it is consistent play at point guard. There have been clips of LeBron James being vocal about wanting to be the lead initiator more, but Ham has leaned on D’Angelo Russell and Gabe Vincent to fill that role, but neither have done it very well.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: DeMar DeRozan, Gabe Vincent, D’Angelo Russell, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

The Vincent we saw as the starting point guard for the Miami Heat during their run to the NBA Finals in the 2023 postseason has not landed in Los Angeles yet. Russell has been inefficient on both ends of the court as the Lakers are often better with him on the sideline.

In need of a shakeup, Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report put together a wild trade that could help balance things out for the Lakers. He suggested the team make a move for DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls.

This would be a long time coming for the Compton native, as DeRozan thought he was heading to Los Angeles during the 2021 NBA offseason. A deal was close to being finalized that would result in him heading home, but the Lakers changed course at the last minute and acquired Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards instead; we all know how that worked out.

How could the Lakers land DeRozan in a deal with the Bulls? Bailey suggested Los Angeles send Russell, Vincent and a 2030 first-round pick to Chicago in exchange for the six-time All-Star.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: DeMar DeRozan, Gabe Vincent, D’Angelo Russell, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

Trading a first-round pick for a 34-year-old DeRozan is certainly risky, but if Rob Pelinka’s goal is to extract as much value out of the James era, this is the sort of deal he should seek out. DeRozan provides the team with a third bonafide option to help carry the offense and another capable playmaker.

Ham can now rely on James and Austin Reaves to run the offense at point guard, staggering their minutes and putting the ball in their hands more often. DeRozan can be the lead ball-handler as well should the need arise.

Los Angeles also gains some flexibility with DeRozan on an expiring contract. Russell has a player option for 2024-25 that seems unlikely to be declined and Vincent is under contract through 2025-26.

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About Kenneth Teape 3837 Articles
Kenneth Teape is an NBA Reporter for NBA Analysis Network. He covers all things across the league, including both news and editorial work. Make sure to follow Kenneth on Twitter at @teapester725.