Sunday, June 16, 2024

DeRozan’s Cryptic Message About Signing With Hometown Lakers

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While it was made reasonably obvious during his latest interview with FanDuel TV that Chicago was on his mind this summer, he’s intentionally leaving the door open to represent one other franchise. As a Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant fan, DeRozan has not ruled out a return to where he played in college and grew up. Making it well known throughout his career that one of his goals is to wear the homegrown purple and gold, this might be his last and best opportunity to do just that. Los Angeles has several options to make after another postseason ending abruptly. This marks the fourth consecutive postseason they’ve failed to win a game in the Western Conference Finals and LeBron James’s longest stretch of his career without an NBA Finals appearance. Does DeRozan take a Lakers offer seriously, and will Rob Pelinka and company give him that option?

Playing Alongside Lebron James

The two long-tenured Eastern Conference foes, DeRozan and James, have always praised each other, and it seems that nearly every trade deadline has them excited at the prospect of being teammates. While James appears to be a general manager on many teams he has been a part of, including the Los Angeles Lakers since his arrival, DeRozan would certainly have his stamp of approval. Adding a Clutch Player of the Year nominee each of the last two seasons would bolster the Lakers scoring down the stretch and alleviate some of the stress from the aging James.

The main issue with the six-time All-Star heading to the West Coast is finances, which Los Angeles hardly has. Already over the allotted cap space, they’d need to move on from D’Angelo Russell, who has a player option and may opt out anyway. Next to go would be Rui Hachimura and possibly Austin Reaves, who combine for $30 million in commitments. DeRozan has been rumored to want nearly $40 million annually for the next two or three seasons.

Likely Coming Back To Chicago

While returning home and representing his childhood dream team raises excitement for DeRozan, the Bulls will be his choice. He is already saying it’s an organization he loves, a place he enjoys, and a situation he feels comfortable with. That doesn’t even involve the financial situation, which is much more willing to spend than that of Los Angeles. Chicago can pay him his desired annual salary of $40 million, and while it might not be the best decision for the franchise, that’s a debate for another day. The 34-year-old will surely be back in the red and black for the next several seasons.

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The organization’s interest is mutual. As Karnisovas said to open the offseason, bringing back DeRozan was one of the most critical priorities on the agenda. While he won’t be on as team-friendly a contract as he was previously, it’ll still provide scoring security and a veteran presence in the locker room. Lonzo Ball’s return will help send DeRozan back to the role he had upon arrival in Chicago, their best season as a team and a top-five MVP candidate season for the former USC forward.

Do you want to see Derozan back in the Windy City, or is it time to clean house and for him to represent his hometown Lakers in their pursuit of an NBA Championship?

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jackhammer469
jackhammer469
May 17, 2024 12:26 pm

Trade them all. Derozen, Lavine, Vucevic, Ball, Caruso in season. Feature and build around Coby. The draft capital they pick up this year could hugely advantageous for they say the 20th pick could be as talented/valuable as the 1st.😀

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