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.
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.