DeMar DeRozan has been absolutely fantastic for the Chicago Bulls this season and provides yet another “what if?” for the Los Angeles Lakers to ponder this season. The Lakers obviously decided to trade for Russell Westbrook when they had other options on the table, including DeRozan.
DeRozan, who signed a three-year, $81.9 million contract with Chicago in a sign-and-trade, recently confirmed that he would have taken a pay cut to play with the Lakers this season. He said the pay cut would not have been substantial, but it definitely would have been much cheaper than Russell Westbrook.
A fair estimate is a three-year, $75 million contract. The Lakers obviously could have taken this on and while I was someone who was very against it during the offseason, DeRozan has proven me wrong with his exceptional play. He absolutely would have been a much better fit for the Lakers than Russell Westbrook.
But what exactly would the Los Angeles Lakers look like with DeMar DeRozan?
Trading for DeMar DeRozan instead of Russell Westbrook would have had a butterfly effect on the rest of the offseason for the Lakers and would have led to a different roster. And spoiler alert, that roster would have been much better than the current version of the team.
In the following pages, we will break down the trade that the Lakers would have likely sent for DeMar DeRozan as well as who else the team would have been able to bring in with DeRozan on the books instead of Westbrook.