The Los Angeles Lakers just won their 17th championship in franchise history. Generally, this is a time when organizations can sit back and revel in their success. Unfortunately, due to the abbreviated offseason this year, that is not an option.
Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations and general manager Rob Pelinka has been tasked with reconfiguring the roster in the face of player opt outs and trade speculation, and it appears as though one of the potential options being considered is a deal with the San Antonio Spurs.
According to The Ringer NBA insider Kevin O’Connor, the Lakers may try to obtain DeMar DeRozan in exchange for Kyle Kuzma and Danny Green.
“[The Spurs] also looking to unload LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan; I’ve heard the Lakers have interest in acquiring DeRozan (for Kyle Kuzma and Danny Green), and as mentioned, the Warriors may want Aldridge,” he said. “Any separate trade could influence their choice here.”
In late October, reports surfaced that DeRozan wanted out of San Antonio. Although he lightly disputed those rumors, most assumed that where there was smoke there was fire.
DeRozan is entering the last year of a deal set to pay him $27.7 million. Obviously this would be the ideal time for the Spurs to trade him to a team that would make better use of his talents.
The question is: are Kuzma and Green what the Spurs would want back in return for DeRozan?
Recently, Green discussed the prospect of LA moving on from him in the offseason.
“It’s been almost 10 years now me hearing about trade rumors,” he said.
“You ignore the noise. If it happens, it happens. (Rob Pelinka) is a respectful guy. I’m sure he’ll give me a call. I understand the nature of the business. Everybody is going to get better. Everybody’s looking to make moves and get better, so we need to do that as well.
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 12, 2020
“Hopefully, part of that process is still keeping me here. I think we bring everybody back and we do what we did this year and hopefully not in a bubble. I think the group that we have is special.”
Green signed a two-year, $30 million deal with the Lakers last year. He averaged 8.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.8 threes per outing in 2019-20, but he lacked the sort of consistency that many fans had hoped to see.
All in all, it’s tough to see what precisely the Lakers would really gain by getting rid of Green and Kuzma in favor of DeRozan. Though the 31-year-old is obviously a more reliable scorer, it remains to be seen if he could provide that same sort of punch as the No. 3 option behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Now we know. https://t.co/1W8XNZ9n7y
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 11, 2020
Furthermore, what the Lakers really need at this stage is three-point shooting. DeRozan would not address that weakness at all.
Could this trade happen? Of course, anything is possible.
Will it? Probably not.