DeMar DeRozan Snub Costs Lakers, Heat Their Championship Move Amid NBA Trade Rumors

Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

DeMar DeRozan is headed to Sacramento on a three-year, $74 million sign-and-trade deal, per Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

The deal sends DeRozan to a Kings team that is on the verge of being a legitimate contender in a jam-packed Western Conference but also costs both the Lakers and the Heat the championship move they had hoped to make this off-season.

DeRozan played 37.8 minutes a game last season, scored 24 points per, and added 4.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.1 steals to the mix. He also shot 48 percent from the paint and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.

He was one of two bright spots on a disappointingly mediocre Chicago Bulls team and, despite his insistence that he wanted to return to the organization, will continue his career elsewhere.

The Heat needs another legitimate star to go along with Jimmy Butler and with both Caleb Martin and Haywood Highsmith potentially leaving in free agency, will be in need of at least one forward.

New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram is an option but one would be hard-pressed to find a way to make that deal possible given the veteran forward’s $36 million cap hit in 2024-25.

The team, though, has just over $5 million in space under the second cap apron, according to Spotrac, and would not have been able to accommodate the deal DeRozan inked ahead of the trade.

The Lakers benefited from LeBron James taking a pay cut in hopes of the team making a big splash this off-season. That has not happened.

They also needed a forward to bolster their roster and potentially help them compete against Denver, Minnesota, and Dallas out west.

With DeRozan off the market, they will likely have to look at Jerami Grant of Portland, a player they had previously been linked to.

Regardless of who the two teams are able to attract at this point, the off-season has to be considered a major disappointment for their fan bases.

Both understandably were looking for impact players who could come in and give the squads the final push they needed to become legitimate contenders in their respective conferences.

Instead, they will likely settle for role players who will, hopefully, enhance the stars that are already there.

Leave a Reply

Verified by MonsterInsights