LA never made an offer or held serious talks with DeMar DeRozan

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

With the Los Angeles Lakers failing to sign several free agents, there were only a few names left that looked like potential players they could sign this offseason, one of which was the notorious DeMar DeRozan, someone the Lakers have been linked to multiple times in the past.

The interest was justified, as DeRozan is from Compton, Southern California, and was close to joining the Lakers in 2021. His name has been tossed around as someone LeBron James might consider taking a pay cut for, but as it turns out, there was no acceleration in contact between the two parties this summer.

As Shams Charania of The Athletic told The Rally, DeRozan’s decision was up to the Sacramento Kings, who he ultimately ended up going to, and the Miami Heat, as the Lakers never made him an offer or had any serious talks about a trade deal:

“It really was up to the Kings and the Heat as far as DeMar DeRozan’s next home. He really wanted to land in a competitive environment, and I was told he wanted to come back out West at the end of the day. And the Kings, they pushed the hardest, pushed the fastest in free agency to get a deal done. They’re a playoff contender, a team that’s trying to get on the cusp of being a title contender, and I was told Vivek Ranadive, the owner of the Kings, really made that clear when they met in person over the weekend in Sacramento.

“The Lakers have been traded, they’ve been in the last couple of free agencies for DeMar DeRozan. But I’m told the Lakers have never gone beyond expressing simple interest in DeRozan. There have been no offers, no tangible talks with the Bulls about a sign-and-trade deal. So this is the second free agency in a row where, in terms of perception, there’s a thought that DeMar DeRozan would have to take less money in free agency. Or would he have to take the mid-level exception to land a destination. But in the second free agency in a row, he lands on a sign-and-trade deal, and his last two deals combined for five years and $161 million. So that speaks to DeMar DeRozan’s relationship, how he’s known around the league and the pedigree and the respect he has from teams, in this case including the Sacramento Kings, Spurs and Bulls, all contributing to the sign-and-trade deal.”

Given the money DeRozan received from the Kings, the Lakers would never be able to sign him, but a sign-and-trade would be possible. But perhaps management considered that option and decided it wasn’t worth the constraints such a deal would impose on the team and the players they would have to give up in such a deal.

Regardless, this is yet another big name who won’t be seen in purple and gold next season, and given his desire to return to the West, this news will likely sting a little more.

LeBron James Still Believes Lakers Can Compete for Championship with Anthony Davis

LeBron James has made it clear that his goal is and always will be to compete for championships. And given the lack of movement from the Lakers this summer, one would assume he would be unhappy with management.

But LeBron still believes in the Lakers’ ability to compete for a championship as long as he and Anthony Davis are on the roster. James said he and Davis will set the tone and commit to excellence, adding that he doesn’t think the Lakers are too far from the top of the West.

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