As DeMar DeRozan and the rest of the Toronto Raptors are busy with the Indiana Pacers in Round One of the NBA Playoffs, his future is already being the talk of the town. Rumors are swirling that the New York Knicks would not want his service and that his talent and skills will best maximized if he joined the Los Angeles Lakers by the summer.
There was a pitch that the 26-year old would sign with the Knicks but Phil Jackson has already made it clear that they would not be pursuing a traditional point guard since in the triangle offense a point guard is not badly needed. The Knicks could jump on the rumors that they would be pursuing the likes of DeRozan and Evan Turner (Boston Celtics)
The Knicks are also leaning towards going after Rajon Rondo, Mike Conley, Nicolas Batum and Bradley Beal. However, after their triangle seminar with Jackson and interim coach Kurt Rambis, the thought of having a natural point guard is diminishing as the Zen Master’s philosophy calls the chase for a point guard an “obsession.”
“Chasing a point guard, where it becomes just an obsession, isn’t necessary. It’s not necessary. We can play the game without that,” Jackson said.
Though among the three, Batum would be a perfect fit for Jackson’s triangle offense as he moves well without the ball and can also handle the ball if pressured as well. He can also be an offensive threat given the proper space in the triangle design.
Though the Knicks has a maximum space cap in its disposal, taking another look at DeRozan and Batum would not be so bad for the Knicks either since both are talented and versatile players.
Since the Knicks have shown little interest on DeRozan, if he opts out of his contract and becomes a free agent, he might as well take a look at the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers are going into another transition, having lost Kobe Bryant to retirement and having a new coach in Luke Walton, DeRozan could simply fit in the system that Walton would want for the Lakers next season.
ESPN’s Stephen Smith claim there is truth to the rumors that DeRozan might play for his hometown by next season. He added that the Lakers have a vacuum to fill and with $62.6 million as their working budget they could easily land potential free agents with guaranteed futures as well.
However, DeRozan told ESPN in an interview that he would want to stay and play with the Raptors for another season where he could most likely carry the team for another run for the title next season.
“My whole mindset has always been this is home for me. I took pride in putting on this Toronto Raptors jersey since I’ve been drafted here and my whole goal was to get this team to the point where it is now,” DeRozan explained.
But if the Raptors fail to make it into the deeper rounds of the 2016 NBA Playoffs, DeRozan might weigh things out and for sure with a lucrative offer from the Lakers, he would not be able to resist and may don a new uniform by next season.
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