2. DeMar DeRozan
It appeared that the Los Angeles Lakers were going to bring in DeMar DeRozan via a sign-and-trade two years ago when he was on the market. Heck, DeRozan himself admitted that he thought he was going to Los Angeles up until the point that the team traded for Russell Westbrook.
In hindsight, the Lakers definitely would go back and trade for DeRozan instead. Chicago had to trade two non-essential contracts (Al-Farouq Aminu and Thaddeus Young) to the San Antonio Spurs with a first-round pick for DeRozan.
Los Angeles likely would have sent something along the lines of Kyle Kuzma and Talen Horton-Tucker. The Lakers likely would not have even needed to include a first-round pick because of the young talent the team was sending.
Regardless, the Lakers didn’t make that trade then and they have a chance to rectify it now. Some fans point at DeRozan’s three-point shooting as the main reason not to make a trade as it would, admittedly, hurt the team’s floor spacing.
But around the right players that shooting would not even matter for the Lakers. Instead, the team would be getting a polished second playmaker who can defend and knock down mid-range jumpers off of the gravity that LeBron James and Anthony Davis create.
DeRozan is on an expiring so there is no long-term commitment and his price will be cheaper as a result. The biggest hurdle is his salary, as the Lakers would be forced to trade one of Rui Hachimura/D’Angelo Russell alongside Gabe Vincent just to make the money work.
As good as DeRozan is, it might not be worth shipping three years of Hachimura to Chicago for half a season of DeRozan.