DeMar DeRozan remains a target of the Los Angeles Lakers for the next season. The interest is mutual and the 31-year-old small forward is willing to take a pay cut in order to have a chance of winning his first championship.
According to salary cap expect Larry Coon, there is a way for DeRozan to join the Lakers on mid-level exception if he indeed accepts a pay cut. “If it’s really not about the money and he wants to put his money where his mouth is and he wants to sign with the Lakers a mid-level exception, because that’s the most they can offer any free agent that’s not already theirs, that’s less than ten million dollars,” he said on Spectrum SportsNet.
“If he wants to sign for that, I’m sure the Lakers would pop out a check book in an instant. Other than that, you are looking at sign and trade options. I don’t know that there’s any reason that San Antonio with all the cap room they have would be looking at doing sign and trade. After that, they don’t have options.”
DeRozan, who became an unrestricted free agent this offseason, earned $27.7 million at the San Antonio Spurs this past season. Therefore, signing for a mid-level exception would mean taking almost a $20 million pay cut.
“Watching the entire league and knowing how this goes in 99% of the cases I would say almost no shot whatsoever. The only thing is this is the Lakers and every once in a while they pull one out of their hat. Is this another Karl Malone, Gary Payton ‘sure, we’ll come for nothing’ situation? Who knows. It’s possible. I still wouldn’t call that likely. But once in a while Lakers pull that off,” Coon concluded.
This past season DeRozan averaged 21.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game for the Spurs.