LeBron James’ Cavs are trying to trade for Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan this offseason, but they have been rebuffed by the team. The issue was due to a significant disparity in salaries.
By now, everyone knows that LeBron James attempted to sign DeMar DeRozan to the Los Angeles Lakers during his free agency period. However, fans and pundits alike believed that the Russell Westbrook deal was the catalyst for the team’s failure to get DeRozan.
However, according to fresh information from Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, the Lakers passed on DeRozan. While LeBron wanted to team up with him in Los Angeles, Rob Pelinka and the front staff reportedly declined to grant him a three-year contract. The veteran winger just inked a three-year, $85 million contract with the Chicago Bulls.
On Tuesday, Haynes revealed the news in a Twitter Space. Several Twitter users who observed the Space confirmed the claim, despite the lack of a video clip of the debate. Many fans also blamed Pelinka and the Lakers’ front staff for failing to sign DeRozan and instead electing to trade for Westbrook.
Prior to that, LeBron was chastised by LA and NBA fans for purportedly pushing the franchise to trade for Russ.
Chris Haynes has stated that LeBron and the FO wanted Demar first, but that the FO’s refusal to offer Demar a three-year contract (to clear room in 2023) forced them to switch their focus to Russ instead… I’m not feeling well, guy. They did the same thing to Ty Lue and Caruso.
March 16, 2022 — Dom (@DomDolla22)
CHRIS HAYNES HAS JUST VERIFIED! LeBron wanted DeMar DeRozan, and they believed the deal was done, but the organization refused to grant him a three-year contract. As a result, the ORGANIZATION/GM PASSED ON DEMAR DEROZAN and shifted their attention to Westbrook. PELINKA is entirely to fault. pic.twitter.com/juN5qtx0kI I stated it from the start pic.twitter.com/juN5qtx0kI
March 16, 2022 — James Edrick (@JamesEdrick3)
Chris Haynes only confirmed our suspicions. LeBron wanted Demar and felt he had a deal, but Rob and Jeanie refused to give him three years. As a result, they went on to Russ or Helgard.
You’ll find a way to blame Bron even after Chris Haynes says this.
— @lebronsleague (@5thringonthewayyy) 16th of March, 2022
Of course, if the Russell Westbrook deal had gone through, this wouldn’t be a concern. Unfortunately, that has not been the case, as the dynamic guard has struggled to fit into the Lakers’ system. While he has had flashes of brilliance, they have been fleeting.
LeBron James is leading the squad to several victories, but the load seems to be too much for him to bear. Only two of the Lakers’ past five games in which he scored at least 50 points were victories.
DeMar DeRozan, meantime, is having a great season in Chicago, leading the club in scoring with 28.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists. He’s also been a lifesaver for the Bulls, pulling them back from the brink of loss on many occasions.
It’s unclear if DeRozan would have had the same success in Los Angeles if he had joined LeBron. It is, however, a significant “What if” that might have a significant influence on the team. Finally, hindsight is 20/20, and the Lakers have no choice but to attempt to make things work now.
They can still reach the playoffs via the play-in round, but whether or not they can win a postseason game is a another story.
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