KEY POINTS

  • DeMar DeRozan is an unrestricted free agent this offseason
  • He and Kyle Lowry are willing to take pay cuts
  • DeRozan says, "If you can play for your hometown, why not?"

DeMar DeRozan is about to turn 32 this August and his shot at a championship is slowly closing.

After failed bids to reach the NBA Finals with the Toronto Raptors, DeRozan was part of a package that brought Kawhi Leonard up North and won them their first title.

DeRozan is a free agent this offseason and he, along with Kyle Lowry, has been repeatedly linked to the Los Angeles Lakers to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

While the Lakers have also been reported to discussing a trade with the Sacramento Kings for Buddy Hield, their pursuit of DeRozan and Lowry would be a best-case scenario for them as both players are close friends and have stated a willingness to take pay cuts to play together.

The four-time All-Star appeared on Fox Sports’ Club Shay Shay Podcast hosted by NFL legend Shannon Sharpe and shared his plans for free agency.

When asked about playing in Los Angeles, DeRozan shared that there’s nothing like playing in an area where he grew up and watched many Lakers games before he turned pro.

“You can’t ask no kid if they wanna play home, they’ll say no. At some point, you’d definitely want to have that opportunity, and especially if they want you, why not?”

Then Sharpe asked about what DeRozan is specifically looking for if he were to leave San Antonio.

“It’s all about winning at this point,” said DeRozan. “Going into my 13th season, you see all of these guys competing for a championship.”

Sharpe then interjects as he notes that many players across multiple sports have said the same thing about winning, pointing out that these same players will go to the team that can offer them the most money. 

The pundit then asks whether that’s true for him as well.

“I mean you try to meet the fine line or balance it out as best you can,” DeRozan said laughingly. “At this point, you gotta weigh out the opportunity of winning a championship more, especially with the career I’ve had. I’ve been fortunate to make a lot of money. But at this point, the ultimate goal is to always compete for a championship.”

DeRozan changed his playing style with the San Antonio Spurs that led to him hitting a career-high in assists and ranking in the 96th percentile in assist rates relative to his usage rate last season according to Cleaning the Glass.

It means that he’s been one of the best players in the league at finding teammates for an easy bucket despite the ball being in his hands most of the time.

Should the Lakers bring home DeRozan to Los Angeles, they’re getting an excellent shot-creator who alleviates a big portion of their woes on the offensive end plus someone who lives off making shots in the midrange.