NBA rumors: DeMar DeRozan: 'Joining Lakers was a real possibility'

DeRozan admitted, though, joining the Lakers in the offseason was a ‘real possibility’. “Yeah, I mean, it was, it was a real possibility. I mean, I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say I wanted to come home, you know? I did try to make it happen. There’s a real possibility on it happening. You know, just things didn’t work out, you know what I mean?” DeRozan told fellow NBA star Draymond Green.

More on DeMar DeRozan Free Agency

DeRozan was willing to join the Lakers and play alongside James. However, the veteran player and the multiple time champions didn’t reach an agreement eventually. “They were great, honestly. Tried to make it work, had plenty of conversations with Bron. Tried to make it work. It just didn’t work. You know how the business goes. One thing can just change the whole dynamic on everything.
Marc J. Spears: Agent Aaron Goodwin told teams Sunday if you’re truly interested in @DeMar DeRozan come to LA to meet him & tell him why your franchise is the best fit, sources. Bulls GM Marc Eversley flew to LA to meet with a FA he’s know since their Raptors days for a fruitful 2-hour meeting.
Nikola Vucevic: Only pic I could find. But 12 years later on same team again! Welcome to the squad brother!!! @DeMar_DeRozan Let’s do this!!!! @chicagobulls
Jordan Schultz: DeMar DeRozan update: Both the #Clippers and #Spurs remain interested in signing him, per league sources. San Antonio, I’m told, would like him back but isn’t willing to go above market value.
Paul Garcia: Only teams who I see can still offer DeRozan $20 million with cap space are New Orleans and Charlotte. Both of those teams have not been rumored to have interest in him. If DeRozan wants to go to an over the cap team, Spurs would need to agree to a S&T.
John Hollinger: Ariza deal removes a sign-and-trade option for Miami to put into a DeRozan exchange. Still have Igoudala, Bjelly, Oladipo as potential big dollar components.
There is some hoopla about DeMar DeRozan reuniting with Dwane Casey in Detroit, and I just don't see it. He'll command most, if not all, of the free cap space. And, additionally, DeRozan has insisted that he'd like to win. The fit just doesn't make sense.
There's a strong sense around the NBA that the Bulls will extend a four-year, roughly $80 million offer sheet for Lonzo Ball. However, Chicago brass did contact executives and personnel around the league over the weekend, sources told B/R, exploring contingency plans centered around Schroder, DeMar DeRozan and Richaun Holmes, should the Pelicans proceed to match the Bulls' offer.
The Heat, I’m told, are likewise strong favorites to re-sign restricted free agent sharpshooter Duncan Robinson with or without the addition of DeRozan and are believed to be attempting to make all of these moves without surrendering Tyler Herro via trade. Longtime Heat executive Andy Elisburg, regarded as one of the league’s foremost salary-cap savants, will only add to his legend if Miami can get all that done.
Jordan Schultz: The #Heat really like the idea of reuniting Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan (MLE) according to league sources - with one saying a S-T (Dragic) is the preferable choice to acquire Lowry. Both Kyle and DeMar have maintained a great friendship since playing together w/the #Raptors.
Barry Jackson: Am told DeRozan would have Heat interest if money can be solved (big if). He and former teammate Lowry have very good relationship. A bit difficult to imagine player who averaged 21.6 points and 6.9 rebounds needing to take $9.5 M, though @John Hollinger has noted talk of that.
Lowry’s former running mate was said to have strong interest from New York, Detroit and Dallas, sources told B/R, although there is still a belief that Tim Hardaway Jr. could re-sign with the Mavericks on a four-year deal. Dwight Powell is a name that continues to surface in trade speculation as well.
Anthony Chiang: DeRozan possibility is interesting, and one that league sources have mentioned to me and @Barry Jackson that Heat is interested in. Butler, DeRozan, Lowry are close. But getting a sign-and-trade deal done with DeRozan, an impending FA, will be complicated w/o Iguodala's salary.
Marc Stein: In addition to its increasingly promising pursuit of Kyle Lowry, Miami has been exploring pathways for acquiring Lowry's former teammate and free agent-to-be DeMar DeRozan as well, league sources say. More NBA from me:
DeMar DeRozan is expected to be among the most desired players in free agency, with several teams being interested in signing the veteran forward. According to Marc J. Spears, the LA Clippers are joining the bidding war for DeRozan. The same can be said for the New York Knicks, the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Lakers and his current team, the San Antonio Spurs. DeRozan, an LA native, could definitely see his free agency as a chance to return home and play for the Lakers or the Clippers.
Noah Magaro-George: Marc J. Spears on DeMar DeRozan’s impending free agency. Marc J. Spears: "The Clippers has some interest too."
In many cases, the team’s interest level depends on different factors/scenarios on draft night or in free agency. With that in mind, DeMar DeRozan and Spencer Dinwiddie are two players on the Knicks’ radar in at least some of their free agency scenarios, per SNY sources.
New York is looking for a lead guard in the draft and free agency. Dinwiddie is rehabbing a torn ACL, so signing him comes with some risk. But he’s expressed confidence in his ability to bounce back from the injury because he suffered the same ailment in college. At least one key decision maker for New York has embraced the idea of signing Dinwiddie, per SNY sources.
DeRozan’s interest in New York is unclear. The Knicks have the cap space to make DeRozan an attractive offer. DeRozan reportedly has interest in signing with the Lakers. It would take a lot of roster movement for the Lakers to be able to offer DeRozan something close to what the Knicks can offer. Worth noting on Dinwiddie: Aside from the Knicks’ interest, at least one team has concrete plans to make the guard a strong offer in free agency, sources say.
“It’s a very average free-agent group for unrestricted free agents,” said one Western Conference executive. “For example, there is no KD or a Giannis. The best guys are DeRozan, Lowly and Conley. But if some guys opt out of their contracts and become unrestricted free agents, then that changes things.”
“I’ve never been in this situation before in my career, to be going completely in as a free agent,” said DeRozan, who made $27.7 million this season. “I have no clue (what to expect). It hasn’t been something I’ve thought about or that I can sit up here and say I’ve got options.”
Jeff Garcia: DeRozan says he's not thinking about free agency, that he's thinking about the loss right now, and keeping the young players heads up #gospursgo
A source with knowledge of DeRozan’s outlook said he’ll be taking a “wide open” approach to free agency in terms of possible landing spots. But after these past three seasons in San Antonio, where he was asked to sacrifice on the scoring front and evolve as a playmaker in the process, the master of the midrange has put himself in prime position to take advantage of this well-earned reputation as a more versatile offensive threat.
Bobby Marks: Monday deadline for player options Anthony Davis: $28.8M DeMar DeRozan: $27.7M Mike Conley Jr. : $34.5M Evan Fournier: $17.0M Robin Lopez : $5.0M Nic Batum: $27.1M Tony Snell: $12.2M Stanley Johnson: $3.8M Wesley Matthews : $2.7M My guess is we go 7/9 on opt-in
The agent noted that DeRozan could reunite with former Raptors teammate Fred VanVleet and coach Dwane Casey in Detroit, where Casey leads the Pistons. "That relationship with the former coach is strong. Comes down to money (for VanVleet) and the situation in Toronto is rough with the taxes. VanVleet on the Pistons elevates his status as the number 1-2 guy on a team," the agent said.
Paul Garcia: DeMar DeRozan was asked if his upcoming player option came into his decision to resume play: "I never think about the next year." "For me, it's about the times we're living in" - dealing with Covid and racial injustice he said.
But DeRozan is more likely to opt in with the Spurs. Among the likely free agents, there aren’t any five-alarm guys, but I do think Evan Fournier has a bit of a warning flag attached. He’s coming off a career year at 27 that featured shooting percentages far above his career norms, so he’s likely to regress. That would have a rebuilding Knicks team buying into a declining commodity. I have him projected at a $12.5 million value next season and likely to go further downward from there, and he’s going to get way more than that if he chooses free agency. (Fournier has a player option for $17.1 million.) He’s not a bad player, but he’s the wrong one for a team like the Knicks.
Shams Charania: New player option dates for 2020 NBA free agency: Anthony Davis: Oct. 14 Gordon Hayward: Oct. 17 DeMar DeRozan: Oct. 17 Mike Conley Jr.: Oct. 17 Andre Drummond: Oct. 17
In a recent episode of ESPN San Antonio’s “The Blitz”, Young expressed that DeRozan could possibly be leaving the Spurs this summer. “I don’t have to sugarcoat anything. DeMar DeRozan is not happy in San Antonio,” Jabari Young said. “The offense is not running smoothly as one should think with a guy like him in the lineup. There are problems. They’re not winning. They don’t look like they enjoy playing with each other. The roster just doesn’t fit”
In a recent episode of ESPN San Antonio’s “The Blitz”, Young expressed that DeRozan could possibly be leaving the Spurs this summer. “I don’t have to sugarcoat anything. DeMar DeRozan is not happy in San Antonio,” Jabari Young said. “The offense is not running smoothly as one should think with a guy like him in the lineup. There are problems. They’re not winning. They don’t look like they enjoy playing with each other. The roster just doesn’t fit”
If swingman DeMar DeRozan and the San Antonio Spurs can’t agree to an extension by the late June deadline, the four-time All-Star intends to decline his $27.7 million player option for next season to become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told Yahoo Sports. DeRozan, who has averaged 20 points in his 11-year career, would be among the top players on the market this summer. DeRozan declining his option wouldn’t close the door on him re-signing with the Spurs, sources said, but it would definitely open an avenue for a team like the New York Knicks, who are expected to be interested.
Asked about the report after the game, a smiling DeRozan played coy. “Who reported it? Did my Mama say it?," DeRozan said. "Don’t listen to it then.” DeRozan's future will continue to be a topic of speculation going forward. He is the Spurs' leader in scoring at 22.3 points and in assists at 5.5 per game, and is shooting a career best 5.5 assists.
According to the latest rumbles, San Antonio and DeRozan aren’t particularly close to a deal. But there is no looming deadline for veteran extensions like DeRozan’s — extension talks can go all the way up to June 30 as opposed to Monday’s deadline for rookie-scale deals — and the Spurs have lots to think about here.
The Spurs would prefer to do a short-term extension if they grant one, given DeRozan’s age (30) and the fact that they have some good guards in the program (Derrick White, Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes and Lonnie Walker IV) who are likely to only keep expanding their roles. DeRozan undoubtedly wants a longer-term extension in exchange for sacrificing his free agency.
A source with knowledge of the situation says the Spurs and DeRozan have continued to discuss a possible extension, but the two sides remain quite a ways apart. (As our Shams Charania recently reported, a max extension for DeRozan would be four years, $150 million; a deal can be agreed upon up until the start of free agency). For San Antonio’s purposes, a two-year deal would be preferable as a way to maintain future flexibility while securing a player in DeRozan, who – if he opts out – would be the best wing scorer on the market. If the 30-year-old DeRozan picks up the option, however, he could reap the benefits of a 2021 summer in which the cap is expected to spike to approximately $125 million (looming China factor notwithstanding).
Tom Orsborn: DeMar on his contract situation: "Man, I just want to hoop. My whole career I never even once had that play on my mind...That's never been my focus...However it unfolds, that's how it is supposed to unfold."
DeRozan may have grown up idolizing his hometown’s most glamorous franchise. He may have grown up admiring Kobe Bryant, imitating his moves and later dubbing him “the top five greatest player of all time.” Yet, DeRozan refused to compromise the same affection he has for the Raptors after they selected him ninth overall in the 2009 NBA draft. “When you have an opportunity to go home, that’s something that certainly would cross your mind. But it wasn’t anything,” DeRozan told Southern California News Group. “After I finish playing, I’m pretty sure I’ll live in L.A. But I just wanted to do something special and leave a legacy of my own in Toronto.”
Marc Stein: So according to that last tweet from my pal @MarcJSpears, your most current estimate on the DeMar DeRozan deal is five years, $145 million.
Michael Grange: The Raptors meeting with DeRozan tomorrow as per @Chris Haynes; if needed Mavs, Sixers; Heat & Lakers will meet, according to sources.
Chris Haynes: Toronto granted first meeting with DeMar DeRozan in LA on July 1, sources tell @clevelanddotcom. Miami, Dallas, Philly, Lakers could follow.
Similarly Aaron Goodwin – DeRozan’s longtime agent – isn’t known as a Scott Boras type, who’s looking to extract every last dollar and willing to use every conceivable ounce of leverage to do so. When the Raptors were negotiating the four-year extension with DeRozan, Goodwin ultimately put the decision in his client’s hands, according to sources, recognizing that in the end it would be the player, not him, who would be living and working under the terms of the deal. And it’s important to note that the Raptors have a considerable advantage in being able to offer DeRozan the best deal. They can pay him the aforementioned $153 million over five years while any other team can only offer $114 million over four.
The good news, for DeRozan and the Raptors, is that Biyombo wants to come back. According to a person with knowledge of his situation, he will be patient as Toronto works things out with DeRozan as its top priority. Biyombo will have no shortage of suitors should the Raptors blink long enough to lose DeRozan, but there will be no immediate rush to seize the speediest deal.
William Justin Carr: Steve... Theoretically LAL could have room for 1 Max Player next season if LAL sign Whiteside and DeRozan THIS offseason? - Steve Kyler: DeMar DeRozan not likely taking meeting - his first goal is to re-sign with the Raptors.
The Raptors can offer DeRozan a five-year maximum contract worth $153 million with the salary cap at a projected $94 million. Other teams would be able to offer him a max deal of $114 million over four years. Toronto's decision-makers have made it clear that re-signing DeRozan, a southern California native whose name was often linked to the Los Angeles Lakers in speculation about this summer, is their top offseason priority.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 151 more rumors
More HoopsHype Rumors
December 1, 2021 | 8:13 pm EST Update