LA Clippers may seek to make a splash this offseason to boost the chances for an NBA title, considering that Kawhi Leonard will return with a new multi-year contract.
In any case, the Clippers are also interested in signing the Spurs’ forward DeMar DeRozan, per Andrew Griff and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times.
Several reports suggested that DeRozan would like to return to his hometown and play for the Los Angeles Lakers, however the Clippers could also be in the mix for the veteran forward.
Turner does not expect DeRozan to agree to a ‘steep pay cut’ just to play for the Lakers, and the Clippers are hoping to pursue the former Spurs’ forward. However, both LA franchises can only offer the mid-level exception to DeRozan.
(via NBC Sports):
“DeRozan had his sights set on joining the Lakers as a free agent and coming home to play for his favorite team while growing up in Compton. But Russ put the brakes on that. DeRozan made $27 million last season and probably doesn’t want to take that big of a pay cut. So, for the Clippers to sign DeRozan, they probably would have to do a sign-and-trade. But watch out for Dallas possibly being a home for DeRozan,” Turner wrote.
Dallas Mavericks could also be in play for the veteran forward as they have the much-needed cap space to sign him in a regular deal. Dallas is desperately looking to pursue a star to play alongside Luka Doncic and players like DeRozan or Lowry, who is also a free agent, are fitting the mold.
DeMar DeRozan made $27.7 million last season in San Antonio, where he averaged 21.6 points and 6.9 assists a game. It only remains to be seen if his willingness to play closer to home will be the biggest factor in his free agency decision.