Before he agreed to a three-year, $81MM+ deal with the Bulls over the summer, veteran forward DeMar DeRozan believed he’d be headed to the Lakers, he told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
According to Haynes, DeRozan’s agent Aaron Goodwin was working “feverishly” behind the scenes with the Spurs in the days leading up to free agency to orchestrate a sign-and-trade deal that would send his client to Los Angeles. However, the Lakers’ talks with San Antonio tapered off as they pivoted to a trade for Russell Westbrook, forcing DeRozan to go in another direction as well.
“I felt like going to the Lakers was a done deal and that we were going to figure it out. I was going to come home,” DeRozan told Haynes after the Bulls’ victory over the Lakers on Monday. “The business side of things just didn’t work out. A couple of things didn’t align. It didn’t work out. It’s just part of the business, part of the game. My next option was definitely Chicago. So, looking back at it, it worked out well.”
Although there were multiple offseason reports linking DeRozan to his hometown Lakers, this is the first indication we’ve gotten that a potential deal gained real traction. The Lakers also reportedly seriously considered the possibility of trading for Buddy Hield before instead opting for Westbrook.
Acquiring a player via sign-and-trade would’ve hard-capped the Lakers’ team salary at $143MM in 2021/22, so it makes sense that the club preferred to trade for a player on an existing contract, avoiding that hard cap. Given how DeRozan and Westbrook have played so far this season, Los Angeles may be regretting its decision, but DeRozan told Haynes he doesn’t look at it that way.
“Nah, Russ is a Hall-of-Fame player,” DeRozan said. “It’s hard to turn down that caliber of player. I can’t speak for the Lakers, but they went with what they felt was best for them. And all due respect to them. No hard feelings. No animosity, but I just look at it as part of the game. A deal is never done until it’s done. I learned that. It just didn’t work out. I’m just happy I’m in Chicago.”
The Clippers were also considered a viable suitor for DeRozan during free agency, and the 32-year-old acknowledges L.A.’s other team was in the mix. However, he told Haynes it “didn’t get as far as the Lakers situation.”
Since the Lakers agreed to trade for Westbrook on draft day (July 29), four days before free agency opened, DeRozan’s comments and Haynes’ report suggest the Spurs and Lakers may have violated the NBA’s gun-jumping rules if they were exploring a sign-and-trade that early in the offseason. Given that the Bulls are currently being investigated for possible gun-jumping in their Lonzo Ball sign-and-trade, perhaps DeRozan’s insinuation that other teams were engaging in similar conversations wasn’t an accident.
17 thoughts on “DeRozan Thought Offseason Move To Lakers Was “Done Deal””
Bulls blew out Both Lakers and Clippers without Bulls two key players
Lakers need to trade Westbrook right away
Westbrook for Eastbrook or something
Clippers and Lakers would blow out chicago every game with Lebron and Kawhi healthy
Just like they blew out Memphis 121-118 and Houston 119-117 with LeBron in the lineup both of those games (both home games in LA)?
Not necessarily. Did you see the games? Bulls are for real, this is a well constructed roster.
Key players? And it was a 10 point game and a 6 point game with a minute left.
Clippers missing 3 starters in that game
The Bulls were up 17, 1 minute into the 2Q and held the Clippers to 36% from the field. The game wasn’t very close and the clippers were not much of a threat.
Key players is a stretch, However, Bulls were down 2 starters at positions they have very little depth at. So kind of key. It makes the last 2 wins even more impressive.
Before we start changing baselines and expectations, this comes a few weeks after many experts were deriding the Derozan signing. They were questioning who would play defense, and if the Bulls would be one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. Plus many were claiming the Bulls would struggle to win 40 games and be a borderline playoff team.
Clips were ahead, 78-77, early in the 4th quarter.
Lakers definitely would’ve done better with Demar, much better off the ball player.
The Lakers would have been hard capped in any sign and trade for DeRozan. It just wasn’t as simple as choosing one player over the other. And he wasn’t going to sign for the 5mil mid level. Why do they keep harping on this stuff and portraying it inaccurately like these guys were snubbed?
Because it wasn’t until the Lakers (LeBron) decided to pull the trigger for Russ. That’s why. And he just had two 30+ games in his hometown.
He wouldn’t have signed for the mid level, it would’ve been a sign & trade with Harrell, Kuzma, and presumably KCP headed to San Antonio to offset the salary. Also, the hard capping would be worth it IMO to grab a player like Demar (and more importantly to avoid an albatross like RWB).
Clearly DMDR is a better fit for the LAL on court than Russ, having said that the LAL would have made a big mistake by not taking Russ over him for what Russ can contribute & the financial side of it, so is kind of a mute point or a non news, so just move on, DMDR is a superstar & such a great clutch player, he has made CHI a far better team & best of all he dominates without having to rely on shooting the ole trey, what a legend!
Whats done is done. And its a bit early to say if the lakers acquiring westbrook would not work!
Let’s face it, Lakers management chose Westbrook and THT over DeRozan and Caruso, and essentially turned the Bulls into s real contender. AKME are good, but Lakers get an assist. Please stop with the Bulls doubting, I remember most here saying DeRozan was washed up, and the Bulls would not survive their early schedule. Now they will be at nearly full strength (Williams out for the season) and heading into a weaker stretch of the schedule. Min record at the end of 2021 is 20-15, likely much better.
Lakers will adjust and compete before seasons end, but the Bulls are exceeding all expectations. Even 3 out of 4 losses were very competitive games against good teams.
But continue to doubt, I love people who do not watch games talking trash.
The Bulls have the best guard rotation in the NBA, and it only gets better with Coby White back.
Current Bulls team is built for this new NBA so well indeed
Switch-abilty on D
Shooting, Pace, and ball movement on offense
No clue if it was a master plan or just everything fell into place at once (probably a little of both)
My only worries is when it comes playoffs and other coaches get an actual chance to coach some schemes up against them ( So rarely happens reg season )
I think there are seams in the defense that can be exploited we are just going to need 7 game series to see them. Even so, the outside shooting can overcome these issues any given day if hot , should be fun to follow
Cap n crunch > most of bulls players are lack of playoff experience. To me,this season is our 1st step.just go to playoff,and im happy.next season must be a better season.i just hope they dont swept out at 1st rounds this season.
Another move that Gar Pax would never have made.