DeMar DeRozan Apparently Thought The Lakers ‘Didn’t Know What They Were Doing’ On His Free Agent Trip

Last summer, DeMar DeRozan was linked to the Los Angeles Lakers during free agency. At one point, DeRozan believed a partnership was a “done deal” and he’d return home to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis in pursuit of a title.

Ultimately, though, Los Angeles pivoted to trade for Russell Westbrook instead, and DeRozan landed with the Chicago Bulls, where he’s authored an All-NBA-caliber campaign for a playoff squad.

According to a report from Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, DeRozan “felt that the Lakers were in sort of disarray” when he met with them as a free agent last year.

“I talked to someone from DeRozan’s camp,” Youngmisuk said recently. “(The Lakers) didn’t really have a vision. They didn’t know what they were doing.”

Of course, the ensuing eight months since those decisions are well-documented. DeRozan enjoyed his fifth career All-Star appearance, while Westbrook struggled mightily much of the year. Los Angeles will miss the playoffs and Chicago sits sixth in the East at 45-34.

Obviously, Los Angeles didn’t expect Westbrook to decline so drastically from last year’s splendid second half, but it remains quite fascinating to envision DeRozan as a Laker. Given all their injuries and the way DeRozan carried a shorthanded Bulls team for stretches, he clearly could’ve helped Los Angeles avoid this fate of a playoff-less season.