Lakers Rumors: DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry Interested in Joining LA in Free Agency

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 23, 2021

San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan (10) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in San Antonio, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Two of the top players expected to hit the unrestricted free agent market this offseason reportedly have interest in signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, San Antonio Spurs shooting guard DeMar DeRozan and Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry both have the Lakers on their radar ahead of free agency.

Either player could be a huge addition to a Lakers team that followed up their 2020 championship with a disappointing first-round exit in this year's playoffs.

DeRozan, 31, would seemingly be a natural fit with the Lakers since he is a Compton, California, native who played his college basketball at USC.

The 12-year NBA veteran is a four-time All-Star, and he has averaged 20 points per game or better in each of the past eight campaigns.

Last season, DeRozan appeared in 61 games for the Spurs and averaged 21.6 points and 4.2 rebounds and a career-high 6.9 assists.

The former Raptors star isn't much of a long-range shooter with just 0.4 three-pointers made per game and a three-point shooting percentage of 28.1 percent for his career, but he does everything else well.

Lowry, DeRozan's former Raptors teammate, has been one of the NBA's best point guards for the past several seasons.

The 35-year-old is a six-time All-Star, earning the honor in six straight seasons from 2014-15 through 2019-20.

Lowry, who helped lead Toronto to a championship in 2019, has put up impressive numbers during his nine seasons with the Raptors.

In 601 regular-season games as a member of the Raptors, Lowry has averaged 17.5 points, 7.1 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 2.5 three-pointers made and 1.5 steals.

Although injuries limited him to 46 games last season, Lowry had one of his best statistical campaigns, averaging 17.2 points, 7.3 assists, 5.4 rebounds, 2.8 three-pointers made and 1.0 steal.

Per Jovan Buha and Bill Oram of The Athletic, the Lakers were in talks with the Raptors about acquiring Lowry prior to this past season's trade deadline, but no deal got done.

Lowry and DeRozan are both quality playmakers who would give the Lakers another capable ball-handler alongside LeBron James.

Such a player is made even more important by the fact that guard Dennis Schroder is set to hit free agency and may not be back with the Lakers.

As noted by Turner, the only players under contract with the Lakers for next season as of now are James, Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Marc Gasol and Alfonzo McKinnie. Montrezl Harrell could also return to the team if he exercises his player option.

The Lakers would greatly benefit from a third star to go along with James and Davis, and there is little doubt that either DeRozan or Lowry would fit in well.

L.A. may even want both players, but given its salary-cap situation, that seems unlikely unless DeRozan and Lowry are willing to take significantly less money than they could get elsewhere.