After winning the 2020 championship over the Miami Heat, LeBron James and Anthony Davis didn’t even make it out of the first round of the 2021 playoffs. The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns in six games, marking the first time in his career that LeBron lost in the first round.
The Lakers are expected to revamp the roster this offseason in free agency after failing to meet expectations in 2020-21, and they could add All-Stars and former Toronto Raptors teammates Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to the mix.
Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are reportedly interested in playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Lakers
According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, both Lowry and DeRozan are interested in signing with the Lakers. The former Raptors stars are unrestricted free agents and have prior relationships with LeBron and Davis.
Turner reports that DeRozan has interest in returning home to play for the Lakers, even if it’s for less than the $27.7 million he earned last season with the San Antonio Spurs. Meanwhile, Lowry is also intrigued about playing for the Purple and Gold even though they chose not to acquire him at the 2021 trade deadline.
Lowry and DeRozan are said to be best friends. They developed a brotherhood in Toronto and supposedly want to reunite on the Lakers next to LeBron and Davis, who need more talent around them if they want to get back to the promised land next season.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis dealt with injuries in 2020-21
Both LeBron and Davis suffered serious injuries in 2020-21, with the latter sustaining an injury in the playoffs as well. The King played in 45 games, and the Brow appeared in 36. As a result, the Lakers only won 42 games and needed to defeat the Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament just to reach the playoffs.
The Lakers took a 2-1 lead over the Suns in the first round after winning Games 2 and 3. However, Davis hurt his left groin in Game 4, didn’t return to the game, and missed Game 5. He tried to play in Game 6 but could barely move on the court. The Lakers lost the series in six games, as LeBron didn’t have much help on offense after Davis went out.
Both LeBron and Davis chose not to play in the Tokyo Olympics so they can rest their bodies and gear up for a revenge-type season in 2021-22. If they are healthy, the Lakers should be title contenders. However, adding Lowry and DeRozan could make them overwhelming favorites to win it all.
What would Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan bring to the Lakers?
Lowry and DeRozan are perennial All-Stars with loads of playoff experience, which would help the Lakers on both sides of the ball. The former is an elite two-way guard who can score from all three levels of the court and handle point guard duties with LeBron, while the latter is one of the best scorers in the NBA and a guy who can take pressure off of LeBron and Davis and carry the offense on his shoulders from time to time.
DeRozan has career averages of 20.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists while shooting 46.0% from the field. While he’s not a reliable shooter from beyond the arc, his mastery of the mid-range and slashing ability would certainly make the Lakers more dangerous on offense.
Meanwhile, Lowry has put up 14.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game in the NBA. Along with being an above-average 3-point shooter, the one-time champion is a pest on the defensive side of the ball, a trait LeBron and Davis would likely appreciate.
It will be fascinating to see if Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka can make two big splashes in free agency by signing DeRozan and Lowry and pairing them with LeBron and Davis. Free agency begins during the first week of August, so Lakers fans will find out soon if their favorite basketball team will have more star power on it.