Rumor has it the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to pry DeMar DeRozan from the San Antonio Spurs, but the suspected package is a non-starter.
Trading for DeMar DeRozan wasn’t a matter of luxury for the San Antonio Spurs — It was a deal made out of necessity. The organization was backed into a corner and the market was slim due to Kawhi Leonard’s unamicable parting with the team back in 2018. They took DeRozan to level the ship while adding young assets back despite reports of a better offer coming from Lakerland.
Included in that deal with Danny Green, who the San Antonio Spurs opted to move instead of paying him what ended up being a $15 million per year salary with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reports that the Lakers want to send Green back to San Antonio along with forward Kyle Kuzma to bring in their third star, DeMar DeRozan. Making this deal would be a signal of defeat for a prideful San Antonio Spurs organization hoping to retool on the fly.
Lakers have interest in trading for DeMar DeRozan, per @KevinOConnorNBA
Spurs would get Kuzma and Danny Green pic.twitter.com/fz1JVGDmbx
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 12, 2020
Green’s time in San Antonio is over. Unless he re-ups with the team on a friendly-short contract near the end of his career, there’s no reason for these two parties to intersect once more. Not only has Danny’s efficiency from 3-point range dipped significantly over the last few seasons, but his place within the Spurs’ rotation simply doesn’t make sense anymore.
As for Kuzma, the jury’s still out. Some believe he has the potential to elevate his play in a greater role while others don’t believe he’ll turn out to be anything as a pro. The likelihood is that he falls somewhere in the middle of the pack, maturing into a decent rotation player who can pop in short bursts. However, there’s no need for San Antonio to take a swing on him considering their hopes for Tall Luka, whose playstyle shares many of the similarities without quite as many glaring weaknesses as Kuzma.
More from Air Alamo
- San Antonio Spurs: 3 Takeaways from Grizzlies undressing of Spurs
- San Antonio Spurs: Could the Spurs unload LaMarcus Aldridge to Orlando?
- Predicting how the Spurs’ week-long revenge tour will play out
- San Antonio Spurs vs. Grizzlies: How to watch, game time, injury report
- Grading Derrick White’s return game with the Spurs
The presumption is that Brandon Ingram was on the table for San Antonio when Kawhi was the trade chip on their table and the Spurs organization didn’t want to help the Lakers build a contender. One would think that still stands with a significantly worse offer on the table. The deal becomes more intriguing if first-year player Talen Horton-Tucker and the 28th pick are on the table, but it’s still probably near the bottom of what San Antonio hopes to return if they trade DeRozan — Especially to a rival.
San Antonio has too much pride and self-respect to go after someone like Kuzma with an All-NBA caliber player like DeRozan. Maybe if it’s what DeRozan wants, they’ll consider it more heavily, but general manager Brian Wright has to show some grit this offseason and make harsh decisions to push this team in the right direction. If they’re going to move DeRozan, it needs to be for players who can fit into this rotation and make an impact. If that’s not going to happen, draft capital must be the No. 1 priority as the team figures out what it has and drafts the next generation of Spurs.
Just because someone throws a trade proposal out there doesn’t mean it’s the best offer available, but the Lakers don’t have noteworthy assets to move. It’s why they’re going after someone like DeRozan as opposed to a bigger name like Russell Westbrook.
Ultimately, the San Antonio Spurs need to steer clear of any prospective deal with the Lakers.