The offseason for the Los Angeles Lakers was filled with a ton of moving parts. It was highlighted by their trade that landed them Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards.
Per The Athletic, the Lakers strongly considered adding DeMar DeRozan and he had plenty of conversations with LeBron James in the offseason.
One of those potential moves involved DeMar DeRozan, a Compton, Calif., native and former USC star. He took part in two such meetings at LeBron James’ home and had separate ongoing phone conversations with James. His conversations with the Lakers co-stars had gone well, with the then-soon-to-be free agent discussing all the ways in which he thought this new star trio might work.
Ultimately, DeRozan ended up with the Chicago Bulls, who had a huge offseason themselves by adding DeRozan, Alex Caruso, Lonzo Ball and others.
Still, the Lakers had interest but couldn’t come to agreeing terms with the San Antonio Spurs before they opted to move DeRozan to the Bulls.
There was genuine excitement shared in the player meetings about how DeRozan would fit. Even if he wasn’t the Lakers’ first choice, it was easy to envision a scenario where he would be their best available option.
For the Lakers, according to those with knowledge of the situation, it was imperative to keep as many potential avenues open as possible.
Sources said Pelinka and his front-office group strongly considered executing a sign-and-trade for the 32-year-old DeRozan, giving up Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope in the process, but couldn’t come to consensus terms with the Spurs in free agency or a suitable contract number for DeRozan.
Oh, what could’ve been. Still, the Lakers should be thrilled with the offseason they had.