In the coming weeks, the NBA will proceed into the most active portion of the year, and it’s highlighted by free agency. Four-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan will enter the open market with the ability to dictate the next chapter of his career. Before he embarks on that journey, he’s already made some telling comments that will excite Los Angeles Lakers fans.
DeMar DeRozan will venture into free agency
Although the 2021 free-agent class won’t be as prosperous as expected, some intriguing players will be available.
DeRozan’s name is near the top of the list as he’s a highly productive and dependable player. He’s coming off another strong season after averaging 21.6 points and a career-high 6.9 assists while shooting 49.5% from the floor. He registered 13 double-doubles, including 10 games with at least 10 assists.
DeRozan didn’t secure an All-Star selection in the last three years with the San Antonio Spurs, but he remains one of the better guards in the league. As he moves closer to free agency, he voiced some telling comments that will excite Lakers fans.
DeMar DeRozan drops big free-agency hint that will excite Lakers fans
As the start of free agency inches closer, DeRozan’s future remains a prominent discussion around the league.
Although there is no clarity concerning the next chapter of his career, he likely will choose not to return to the Spurs. During a recent interview on Club Shay Shay with NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe, the four-time All-Star further fueled that notion as he voiced he’s only focused on playing where he has the best chance to compete for an NBA title.
“It’s all about winning at this point,” DeRozan said. “I am going into my 13th season, and I am seeing all these guys competing for a championship.”
Sharpe then quickly interjected, stating that many athletes express the same sentiment but end up signing with the team that pays them the most. DeRozan responded by stating that his focus is on winning above all else.
“You try to balance it as best as you can,” DeRozan remarked. “At this point, you got to weigh out the opportunity to win a championship kinda more, especially with the career I have had. I have been fortunate to make a lot of money, but the ultimate goal is to always compete for a championship.”
His comments certainly confirm he may take a pay cut to play with a team that can compete for a championship. The Lakers fall neatly into that category but can only offer a mid-level exception salary worth approximately $9.5 million.
If he’s willing to take a significant pay cut, the Lakers could soon land an All-Star-level talent at a discounted price.
Los Angeles will have plenty of offseason options
DeRozan is one of several options the Lakers may have in front of them this offseason to improve the roster around James and Davis.
The front office is set to construct a championship-contending group, which will likely lead to plenty of changes. Los Angeles currently holds only five players under contract through next season with James, Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Marc Gasol.
Beyond that, players such as Dennis Schroder, Andre Drummond, Talen Horton-Tucker, Alex Caruso, and Wesley Matthews will enter the open market. The Lakers’ decision-making process with their free agents will shape how the offseason will unfold.
Los Angeles may become extremely active in the trade market as recent rumors suggest the team is attempting to offload Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope to acquire proven talent. The team could venture into sign-and-trade scenarios for Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Collin Sexton, or Spencer Dinwiddie.
In other words, the table is set for the Lakers to revamp the roster and return to title contention.