Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Interesting Name Pops Up In Rumored DeMar DeRozan Lakers Sign-And-Trade

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DeMar DeRozan won’t be around much longer. He and the Chicago Bulls appear to be heading in opposite directions. That was crystallized when they traded Alex Caruso to Oklahoma City. DeRozan wants to play for a contender, meaning he will seek a new home and the Bulls will work out a sign-and-trade. One team that already seems aggressive in their push to get him is the Los Angeles Lakers. They need another star-caliber player alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. DeRozan, being a versatile scorer and L.A. native, seems like such an obvious choice.

Rumors surfaced that the Lakers have sent out feelers to the 34-year-old about a deal. It isn’t clear how interested DeRozan may or may not be. If he is, things could move quickly. The big question becomes what the Bulls can get back for him. NBA TV provided an answer when they discussed the topic. Former All-Star Steve Smith stated the Lakers would have to give up something. The name that immediately came to mind was 26-year-old guard Austin Reaves.

Reaves for DeMar DeRozan would be a fair swap.

Three-point shooting has been a constant headache for the organization for years. Reaves averaged 5.1 attempts last season and hit 36.7% of them. Only Coby White had a similar consistency from downtown—not nearly enough. Having two such options from that range should help space the court more for everybody else. He averaged 15.9 points and 5.5 assists last season. While he may not be a star, Reaves would be a nice complementary piece on the young roster the Bulls are piecing together.

Some Bulls fans may wish for draft compensation instead. That would mean the Lakers’ 1st round pick in 2026. They may prefer that route if they want to keep Reaves on the roster. They won’t want to lose his shooting range. L.A. is in pure win-now mode. Sacrificing their 1st rounder two years from now is something you have to do when chasing championships in a closing window. James has signed for only two more years. If they’re going to get one more, it has to be now.

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