Why the Lakers should stay away from DeMar DeRozan
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The Chicago Bulls could be entering a rebuild as they are shopping Zach LaVine. With LaVine on the block, star forward DeMar DeRozan is in trade rumors.
The Lakers are expressing interest in DeRozan, LaVine, and Alex Caruso. DeRozan is a talented forward who is averaging 22/3/4 with 1.1 steals. He is shooting 44.3% from the floor and 36.7% from three.
The 34-year-old forward is still playing at a high level, but the Lakers should avoid acquiring him. DeRozan is a good scorer but isn’t very impactful on the defensive end. He is also not a great three-point shooter, which you need around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
DeRozan thrives as a scorer in the mid-range game and getting to the rim. LA already has two stars, James and Davis, who put constant pressure on the rim. If the Lakers are to make a trade, it should be for an elite defender who can also space the floor from three.
DeRozan doesn’t fit that mold. The Lakers have also tried the three-star experiment around James and Davis, which didn’t work well. While Russell Westbrook and DeRozan have different play styles, it’s not worth LA sacrificing their depth.
Lakers could target one of Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan or Alex Caruso— BASKETBALL ON 𝕏 (@BasketballOnX) November 14, 2023
“So, Alex Caruso is obviously a Laker favorite, but Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan — those have been two guys the Lakers have been interested in for several seasons now — So, I look at those — maybe one of those… pic.twitter.com/1UJRNmSZpT
The trade would require the Lakers to send Gabe Vincent and one of Rui Hachimura or D’Angelo Russell. Vincent hasn’t played many games as he’s been dealing with an injury. However, Russell and Hachimura have played at a high level this season as crucial role players.
Trading either of them away could be detrimental to the team's depth. Chicago would likely also want draft capital on top of the trade, which isn’t worth it for the Lakers.
LA also couldn't complete a deal for DeRozan until January 15th as Russell and Hachimura were re-signed with Bird Rights, making them ineligible to trade until January 15th.
Rob Pelinka and the front office should monitor the situation in Chicago, as there could be players that would fit well with the roster. However, they must stay away from DeRozan due to his age, expiring deal, and poor fit with the roster.