2. The San Antonio Spurs are not going to do the Los Angeles Lakers any favors
Even if the Los Angeles Lakers are looking past all of the things that I mentioned and DeRozan becomes the last available option I still do not think this deal gets done. Why? The San Antonio Spurs are not going to the Los Angeles Lakers any favors.
The Lakers will have to pay 120% of whatever the trade market value is for DeRozan.
Outside of the Boston Celtics, the San Antonio Spurs are probably the biggest rival the Lakers have. Basketball is simply better when both the Lakers and Spurs are at the top of their game.
The Spurs are smart and they know better than to make one of their biggest Western Conference Rivals an even better basketball team. It sounds petty, I know, but the proof is in the pudding. The Lakers and Spurs have not made a trade since 1990. Thirty years ago.
Recent history backs this claim up. Remember when Kawhi Leonard was a Spur? If you don’t recall, the Lakers reportedly sent a “godfather offer” for Kawhi Leonard when he was being shopped by San Antonio.
Reports afterward emerged that the Spurs were not going to send Kawhi to the Lakers no matter how good the offer got. Just look at what the team got in return — DeMar DeRozan, who they are now shopping. Brandon Ingram is 100% already a better player than DeMar DeRozan and the Spurs would have gotten other young assets as well.
The Los Angeles Lakers are too smart to overpay for DeRozan — and in my opinion, they need more than just DeRozan if they are sending Green and Kuzma — and the Spurs have a history of asking more too much from their Western Conference foe.
This trade is not happening, despite what the Lakers rumors may indicate.