This past offseason DeMar DeRozan was a free agent and could have joined the Lakers. There was mutual interest between the two sides but Los Angeles went with Russell Westbrook instead.
In hindsight, looking at where the Lakers and Bulls – a team that signed DeRozan – are at this point of the season, it looks like a better move would have been sign him instead. That is the opinion of the Lakers great Magic Johnson.
“When I think about it, the blame that [LeBron Jams[ got to take is the fact that [DeMar] DeRozan ended up in Chicago and not with the Lakers,” Johnson said on Get Up. “Because DeRozan wanted to play for the Lakers and when I got the call from his agent, I called the Lakers said ‘Hey, he wants to come home.’ And DeRozan could have been a Lakers instead of a Bull.
“We could have made that deal. But when Russell [Westbrook] and LeBron them start talking, that’s when they nixed that deal and went with Westbrook and he became a Laker instead of DeRozan.
“And I think with DeRozan and then you had a chance to keep the role players [Alex] Caruso, [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope], all those guys who are our best defenders they left. And that’s why we were a bad defensive team.
“But if you sign DeRozan, you only trade [Kyle] Kuzma for Buddy Hield, we would be playing the Western Conference championship this year with those two guys.”
This season DeRozan is averaging 28 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5 assists in 36.2 minutes per game for the Bulls. Chicago is fifth in the Eastern Conference and will most likely be 5 or 6 seed.