Lakers Should End Pursuit of DeMar DeRozan After LeBron's New Contract

Photo: Instagram/DeMar DeRozan

The Los Angeles Lakers had high hopes of adding a third star to join LeBron James and Anthony Davis this offseason. LeBron and Davis were also eager for the team to go "all-in for another elite player," according to The Athletic's Sam Amick.

However, it seems less likely each day that the Lakers will form another "big three." Their best chance likely slipped away when Klay Thompson chose to join the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday. The next day, LeBron re-signed with the Lakers for a two-year, $104 million deal. This contract could push the Lakers over the luxury tax limit, making it hard to add another star.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said the Lakers are no longer pursuing big stars due to the salary cap. Instead, they have turned their attention to DeMar DeRozan from the Chicago Bulls. But the Miami Heat are slightly favored to land DeRozan, a six-time All-Star.

Photo: Instagram/DeMar DeRozan

At 34, DeRozan might not fit the "three-star model" the Lakers are moving away from. With LeBron's new contract and Miami's interest, the Lakers should explore other options. Staying over the luxury tax limit means they can't offer DeRozan a competitive deal unless he's willing to take a veteran-minimum contract.

There’s still a slim chance LeBron might agree to a lesser deal to keep the Lakers under the luxury tax limit. Yet, competing with Miami would still be tough. Acquiring DeRozan could force the Lakers to overpay or lose roster depth, which isn't worth it.

DeRozan, a good offensive player, doesn’t address the Lakers' need for three-point shooting or defense. He wouldn't make the Lakers immediate contenders and, at nearly 35, his value might decline soon.

The Lakers should stop chasing DeRozan and look at other players. According to Lakers Daily's Anthony Irwin, the team is considering players like Jerami Grant, Cameron Johnson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Bruce Brown, and Kyle Kuzma. These players may not be as high-profile but could fit better with the Lakers' current and future plans.

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Source: Breacher Report 


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