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The Los Angeles Lakers are pursuing a third stellar player who provides playmaking and shot creation around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, sources said. The Lakers are expected to show interest in several free agents such as Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Spencer Dinwiddie, according to sources, but another scenario has gained some traction.
They’re also looking to unload LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan; I’ve heard the Lakers have interest in acquiring DeRozan (for Kyle Kuzma and Danny Green), and as mentioned, the Warriors may want Aldridge.
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.”
Michael Grange: The Raptors meeting with DeRozan tomorrow as per @Chris Haynes; if needed Mavs, Sixers; Heat & Lakers will meet, according to sources.
As for DeRozan, he has plenty of options on hold as well. The Lakers, who could wind up getting a meeting with DeRozan, in part, because he still resides there during the summer, are widely known to be very interested in making him part of their young core. The Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, and Orlando Magic are also hoping to lure him stateside.
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.
Noah Coslov: From @KevinDing with us @br_radio on #Lakers: “There’s a lot of presumption about Derozan and I’m told the Lakers aren’t that high on him”
As the NBA enters it’s bubble economy phase (the salary cap is expected to rise by more than $20 million this season and another $20 million the following year) DeRozan will be offered a maximum contract by at least one team – four years and roughly $107 million – and probably more. The NBA grapevine is rife with intelligence saying that his hometown Lakers will offer him the moon. No one would be surprised if Bryan Colangelo – the man who drafted him – will try to lure him to the Philadelphia 76ers.
DeMar DeRozan’s days in the six might be numbered … that’s according to his best friend and former teammate, Romeo Miller, who says he knows where DeRozan is headed … and he strongly suggests it’s L.A. We got Romeo out at The Grove and asked him about DeMar … who will be one of the most coveted free agents of the NBA off-season.
Romeo would be the guy to ask … he and DeRozan have been best friends for years, growing up together and playing college ball at USC. Check out the clip … it’s been reported DeMar wants to bolt the north for L.A. and Romeo adds to that fire … hinting STRONGLY that he knows the Lakers are the right spot for his best pal.
The conversation starter is a max offer and that probably won’t be enough to pry him away from Toronto – where he has won three straight division titles – or the potential suitor in L.A. – where he was born and raised. The Knicks are working with hydrogen bombs. Not plutonium. Remember.
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September 19, 2021 | 7:06 am EDT Update
Clutch Points: Isaiah Thomas is expected to work out with the Golden State Warriors on Monday, sources tell @markhaynesnba. pic.twitter.com/aXdiqpdJcl
Lakers legend Pau Gasol, Marc’s older brother, recently sat down with Spanish newspaper Marca as he discussed the future of his sibling. Pau’s response was cryptic, but it is clear that he is hoping that Marc returns to Spain: “Marc has earned the freedom and flexibility to make his own decision and he will do so when he decides,” Pau said (h/t Sam Yip of Fan Nation). “I know he has a lot of enthusiasm for Basquet Girona, a club in which I am also involved as vice president. He is in a different situation, because he is five years younger than me. We will see what he decides to do this season and later, I am also waiting.”
“I’ve been on him about things I need from him,” Billups said. “I said, ‘Nurk, I know you are going to be a free agent, and I understand you have to have a great year. You need me for you to have a great year, and I need you for us to have a good year. We need each other, right?’ “I’m going to give him every opportunity to have a great year. Because if he has a great year, that means we are a pretty damn good team. Because he is a good player. But that means he has to be focused and be in shape. Because you are only going to play as many minutes as you are physically able. If you are out there tired, uh-uh, come on, gotta get you out. There are good players behind you.”
It is unclear exactly what Nurkic and his role will look like under Billups, but to hear Nurkic talk, Billups has given him a vision of being more involved on both ends. Billups has been careful not to publicly define roles, but in general, he has preached that the offense will include more ball movement. “I just want to feel wanted, and I think I just need more support, and what I mean by that is different playing style, more inside-out game, more chance,” Nurkic said. “More chance to be successful and the position where they put you in. It’s all about the coach and where they put you, and I think Chauncey has figured out that certain people are going to have one to three points less, but the team is going to be way more successful with ball movement and playing together and be more fun. Even at the defensive end.”
Virtus Bologna’s win over LBA newcomer Tortona in SuperCup Quarterfinal game yesterday night was overshadowed by a serious injury occurred to Nigerian center Ekpe Udoh, who appears to have injured his patellar tendon in a no-contact situation. Former Fenerbahce center was taken out of the court in a stretcher and after the game coach Sergio Scariolo confirmed the seriousness of the injury, adding that the team will look for a replacement in the market: “He’s our cornerstone, both on attack and on defense. It’s dramatic, I hope that it serves to understand that you need to respect the players. Here there are stickers on the court everywhere, in the NBA it’s not the case. We will look for a replacement”.
“We are in shock and worried,” Scariolo said after the game on Udoh’s injury. The Italian coach spoke against the use of slippery stickers on basketball floors which have often caused players to hurt themselves.