Lakers: Demar DeRozan Can Help Next Season


The Los Angles Lakers will have plenty of cap room to improve their roster this summer. DeMar DeRozan is one player they should take a good look at.

Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan has a player option at the end of this season that he’s likely to decline. Opting in with the Raptors would pay DeRozan just $10 million next season, an amount he could increase by declining said option and entering unrestricted free agency. If he does so, the Lakers should strongly consider signing him.

DeRozan is from the Los Angeles area and played for USC. He grew up a Lakers fan, cheering for Kobe Bryant. Signing with the Lakers would be a homecoming that both sides want.

Sure, the former All-Star has a few holes in his game. After so many years of Kobe, fans might not want to see a shooting guard who shots at a high volume. He’s also not the greatest defender, but on this Lakers squad he certainly wouldn’t be the worst:

DeRozan will likely never lead a team to a championship so fans shouldn’t look at him as a savior. But as a second or third option? That sounds like a winning team. He’s still only 26 years old, meaning he could grow with the Lakers young trio and help return the franchise to contention. Have a starting lineup of him, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell and another big free agent, and it isn’t crazy to think the Lakers could return to the playoffs. 

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While his tendency to shoot mid-range jumpers isn’t the best for the Lakers future, he does a lot of other things well. DeRozan is one of the best in the league at getting to the free throw line. His nine free throw attempts per game are significantly better than anyone on the current Lakers roster, including the foul-drawing genius Lou Williams.

While there are many holes on this Lakers roster, an athletic wing is one of the biggest needs. Having fans embrace Metta World Peace at his age is a sign that the Lakers need to upgrade on the wings. While DeRozan might not fit the three-and-D mold that most want from their wings in today’s NBA, he’s athletic and he can get a fan base on their feet with his highlight dunks:

DeRozan is the kind of player you can count on to get his 20 points. Surround him with facilitators and efficient scoring options like Randle and Russell and you have the foundation of a dangerous team. DeRozan might not be a superstar, but he’s the kind of player you need to have as part of your foundation to get a superstar.

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Players who are 26 and former All-Stars don’t make it to unrestricted free agency very often. DeRozan is going to get paid big money by someone this summer, and the Lakers should be that somebody.

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