Lakers Rumors: DeMar DeRozan Felt LA Was in 'Disarray' After Visiting in OffseasonApril 6, 2022
DeMar DeRozan considered joining the Los Angeles Lakers in the offseason, but a poor visit reportedly caused him to change his mind.
"I talked to someone from DeRozan's camp," ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk said on The Hoop Collective (h/t Peter Dewey of Lakers Daily). "When DeRozan was in town in L.A., and he basically stuck it to the Lakers. The impression that I got from his camp was that DeRozan felt that the Lakers were in sort of disarray. They didn’t really have a vision. They didn’t know what they were doing."
Youngmisuk, Brian Windhorst and Bobby Marks provided a further breakdown, noting any deal would have required a sign-and-trade with the San Antonio Spurs:
DeRozan instead signed a three-year, $82 million contract with the Chicago Bulls and has helped the team clinch its first playoff berth since 2017. The Lakers were officially eliminated from the postseason on Tuesday and sit at 31-48 on the season.
Los Angeles certainly could have used DeRozan, who is in the midst of one of the best seasons of his career. In 74 games, he is averaging 28.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game while shooting 50.5 percent from the field.
The Compton, California, native had said in November that he thought he was headed to the Lakers this offseason.
"I felt like going to the Lakers was a done deal and that we were going to figure it out. I was going to come home," DeRozan told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. "The business side of things just didn’t work out."
Windhorst and Marks noted the guard wouldn't play on the mid-level exemption, which would have been about $20 million less in salary than he is making in Chicago for 2021-22. It meant the Spurs would have needed to complete a sign-and-trade, but the two sides never came to an agreement.
The Lakers instead went after Russell Westbrook, a move that clearly didn't work out.
Los Angeles now has work to do to rebuild the roster while DeRozan appears justified by his offseason decisions.