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Clippers Rumors: Spurs UFA DeMar DeRozan Interests LA in Free Agency amid Lakers Buzz

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 1, 2021

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Veteran guard DeMar DeRozan could be an option for the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency, according to Andrew Greif and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

Greif described DeRozan as a "target of the team’s interest," while Turner noted the 31-year-old had his eyes on joining the Los Angeles Lakers before they traded for Russell Westbrook last week.

DeRozan is from Compton and went to USC, creating a homecoming opportunity with either the Lakers or Clippers.

The challenge could be the salary after the guard made $27.7 million last season with the San Antonio Spurs. If he does not agree to a significant pay cut, it might take a sign-and-trade for the Clippers to add him.

Los Angeles will want to make sure it has enough room to retain Kawhi Leonard, who will be a free agent if he declines his $36 million player option.

The Clippers will need to replace Leonard's production either way with the forward expected to miss significant time with a torn ACL suffered during the playoffs. They still have a perennial All-Star in Paul George, but no one else averaged more than 14 points per game last season.

DeRozan can provide an immediate boost offensively after averaging at least 20 points per game in each of the last eight years.

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The four-time All-Star averaged 21.6 points per game in 2020-21, adding a career-high 6.9 assists per game.

Los Angeles already has other quality defenders like George, Patrick Beverley and Marcus Morris, but DeRozan's offensive ability could be extremely valuable.

DeRozan also enters free agency with 58 games worth of playoff experience, leading the Toronto Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016. This could help as the Clippers look to build off their run to the Western Conference Finals this past season.

There could still be competition for the veteran's services with Turner listing the Dallas Mavericks as a potential landing spot.

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