DeMar DeRozan is an unrestricted free agent who's all but virtually guaranteed to sign a maximum contract in about a month. A two-time All-Star shooting guard who knows how to score but struggles in just about every other area (including three-point shooting), all season long DeRozan's two most popular suitors were expected to be the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers.
Now, it looks like the market might be dwindling.
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DeRozan's postseason may have dampened his stock, but that doesn't mean the Lakers should 100 percent close the door on adding a 26-year-old local who, at the very least, would revitalize the franchise's reputation as a place that's capable of acquiring talented players in free agency.
Then again, this report also makes sense. With Luke Walton as head coach, it doesn't feel wise for Los Angeles to pursue isolation scorers who aren't all that great at passing or defense. DeRozan posted the best assist rate of his career during the regular season (a decent 20.8 percent) but then reverted back to bad habits in the playoffs, where it dropped down to 14.4 percent in 20 games. He also shot 15.4 percent behind the three-point line and below 40 percent overall.
DeRozan can't stretch the floor, and it's unclear how he'd fit beside D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Lou Williams, whoever the Lakers select with the second overall pick and Jordan Clarkson, who's a restricted free agent. The spacing and ball movement with that group, on paper, looks absolutely atrocious.
DeRozan would also be going from one of the slowest teams in the league to (presumably) one of the fastest. He's athletic enough to thrive in the open floor, but it's fair to wonder how an uptempo system would affect his game, one that currently relies on tough-shot-making in the half-court. DeRozan's skill-set is a lot like Kobe Bryant's in that way, except he isn't nearly as good.
It's an awkward fit and the Lakers should probably stay away. But they're also starved for a known commodity. And it's unclear how patient ownership will be waiting for the organization's current eggs to hatch (if they ever do). From that angle, it's easy to envision DeRozan winding up in Los Angeles, regardless of what reports float out there from now until July.