This past offseason the Los Angeles Lakers had the opportunity to add one of three players: Russell Westbrook, DeMar DeRozan or Buddy Hield.
Ultimately, in no small part due to LeBron James’ interference (despite everyone realizing it was a mistake), LA opted to go with Westbrook.
That proved to be a fatal error.
With 58 games in the books, the Lakers sit at 27-31 and ninth place in the Western Conference. Westbrook has been a disaster both on and off the court – leading to a lot of organizational infighting and finger-pointing regarding who is responsible for the calamity that has been this season.
DeRozan, meanwhile is having an MVP-level season with the Chicago Bulls.
This week, ESPN NBA insider Ramona Shelburne rubbed salt on the wound when she revealed precisely why LA ultimately passed on DeRozan.
“There were choices they had in the offseason between Buddy Hield, Russell Westbrook and DeMar DeRozan,” she reported.
“The Lakers chose Westbrook and LeBron and AD were part of that choice. One of the other choices was DeMar DeRozan, and the Lakers were unwilling to go to 3 years for a contract.”
This falls in line with what DeRozan has said in the past. In prior interviews, he indicated that it felt like a deal with the Lakers was all lined up and ready to go – only for something shady to happen to scuttle everything.
Now we know what that ‘something’ was.
Hield, for what it’s worth, seemed to suggest something similar regarding why his marriage with the Lakers never was.
Michael Jordan’s hand placement. 👀👀👀https://t.co/0nRZvxxgIF
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 22, 2022
Somehow, despite having the opportunity to do much better in the offseason, the Lakers instead wound up with Westbrook and his massive, unmovable contract.
Based on how poorly LA handled this summer, it’s hard not to view this year’s happenings as anything other than karma.
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