Veteran guard DeMar DeRozan has interest in the possibility of joining the Lakers, as does his former Raptors teammate Kyle Lowry, reports Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Both DeRozan and Lowry will be unrestricted free agents this offseason.
Turner cites sources not authorized to speak publicly on the matter who say that DeRozan – a Compton native who played his college ball at USC – would be willing to accept less than the $27.7MM he earned with the Spurs this past season in order to play for his hometown team.
The Lakers are said to be seeking a veteran play-maker, having been linked earlier in the week to Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook, so it stands to reason the team would have interest in DeRozan and Lowry as well. Lowry was a target at the March trade deadline. However, as we noted when we discussed L.A.’s interest in Paul and Westbrook, the club’s cap limitations won’t make it easy to land an impact player this summer.
Unless DeRozan or Lowry is willing to accept a deal in the range of the mid-level exception to join the Lakers, a sign-and-trade would likely be necessary to accommodate one or the other. The Lakers would need the cooperation of the Spurs or Raptors to complete a sign-and-trade and would be hard-capped at the tax apron for the 2021/22 season as a result.
That scenario would also likely require the Lakers to dump some of their current guaranteed contracts besides LeBron James and Anthony Davis, then fill out their roster primarily with minimum-salary players. It’s not inconceivable, but it would be a challenge — and it’s not a given that sacrificing multiple role players to land a single veteran would improve the team’s title chances.
Turner also reports that Spencer Dinwiddie – who may be less expensive in 2021/22 than DeRozan or Lowry – has interest in joining the Lakers too. That echoes a previous report that stated Dinwiddie would be interested in playing for either Los Angeles team.
We’ll have to wait to see what happens with the Lakers and their various targets, but as Marc Stein points out in his latest newsletter, it’s noteworthy that there has been “seemingly daily discussion” about the possibility of L.A. pursuing guards with All-Star résumés. While it’s possible the team is just doing its due diligence and creating some leverage in its Dennis Schröder negotiations, it feels increasingly likely that Schröder could end up signing elsewhere.