1. DeMar DeRozan is not even that great of a player anymore
DeMar DeRozan is not as good of an NBA player as you may think he is, I promise you that. His numbers look good on the surface but when you actually look at what he contributes as well as his playstyle it becomes obvious that the Lakers would not be getting anything exceptional.
DeRozan is a two-guard in 2020 that does not shoot three-pointers. Seriously. DeRozan is a career 28.2% shooter from beyond the arc in 1.5 attempts per game. He averaged fewer than one three-pointer per game over the last two seasons, shooting a combined 20 percent.
But you can make up for that, right? Sure. DeRozan is a decent facilitator (not needed with LeBron James on the team) and is really efficient in the pick and roll. However, the Lakers could easily find someone who is 80% of the pick and roll player that DeRozan is for far cheaper.
For example, DeRozan was in the 90th percentile as a pick and roll ball handler last season with a 34.6% usage rate. Derrick Rose, who has been connected to the team already, is in the 73rd percentile with a 55% usage rate. Rose is a far cheaper option, both in trade capital and in his contract.
DeRozan’s pick and roll usage is not nearly enough to make up for the lack of shooting. Why? Because he is a bad defender.
If DeRozan was the exact same offensive player and was an average defensive player then you can make the case for trading for him. The Lakers are a defensive-minded team and DeRozan can still score 20 a night — more like 15-8 as the third option — which would be more than enough with good defense.
He is an outright bad defender. DeRozan has posted a negative defensive box plus-minus every single season of his career except one and had a D-PIPM of -2.10 last season. Just for comparison’s sake, that is twice as worse as Kyle Kuzma was last season and was also worse than Derrick Rose.
What are the two traits needed to excel alongside LeBron James, especially when the lane is already clogged with Anthony Davis and the size the Lakers possess? Shooting and defending. DeRozan does neither.
As frustrating as Danny Green was in the NBA Playoffs he is absolutely a better player and fit than DeRozan. And even if the Lakers do trade Kyle Kuzma and Danny Green this offseason they could get much better than DeMar DeRozan.