Kobe Bryant will leave a huge hole when he retires at the end of the season and the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to fill it up via free agency. According to the latest NBA rumors, the Lakers are looking to sign DeMar DeRozan and pry him away from the Toronto Raptors.
As mentioned in a previous report about NBA rumors, the Lakers have a high selection in the upcoming draft with Brandon Ingram and Buddy Hield as potential targets. The team will also have cap space to sign two max contracts in free agency.
One of those is the Raptors wingman that has greatly improved over the past several seasons. DeRozan has been named All-Star twice in the past three seasons and has won a FIBA World Cup gold medal.
According to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, the Lakers will likely consider DeRozan since he’s a native of Los Angeles.
“He’s from L.A., he’s gonna be a free agent. He loves Kobe. He grew up idolizing Kobe,” Ding said. “When you start to look at the options, guys that aren’t afraid to follow in Kobe’s footsteps, DeRozan is not [afraid]. He would be a great add.”
Video Courtesy: YouTube/NBA
The 26-year-old is currently averaging a career-high 23.6 points per game and is expected to opt-out of his contract this summer, per Real GM. He is leading Toronto who sits in the Eastern Conference standings and may be a legit threat against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
However, DeRozan has also expressed staying with the Raptors. “That’s one you thing you can never question: my loyalty to the city. How much I really love and appreciate the team and the organization. I think all the fans understand that,” he said via SportsNet.
On the other hand, the Lakers will have many more options in free agency including Chandler Parsons, Nicolas Batum, LeBron James and Kevin Durant. The Lakers have a good young core for the future with Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and their 2016 draft pick.
Photo Courtesy: Game Face/Wikimedia