Haynes: DeMar DeRozan, Lakers Have Discussed Contract Amid LeBron James Rumors | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 19: DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls handles the ball during the game against the Miami Heat during the 2024 Play-In Tournament on April 19, 2024 at Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

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With Klay Thompson off the board, the Los Angeles Lakers are pivoting towards a new target.

During an appearance on NBA TV’s Free Agent Fever, Chris Haynes of Turner Sports reported that the Lakers will have to get creative in order to land former Chicago Bull forward DeMar DeRozan.

“The Lakers missed out. They missed out on Klay,” Haynes said. “The Lakers felt they had a legitimate shot to get Klay. Now they have to pivot so who is left out there who could make sense? Someone who is a star caliber player that LeBron James is seeking for this team for the upcoming season? DeMar DeRozan is the biggest free-agent left out there on the board. It will either take a sign-and-trade or it will take the Lakers getting creative, removing some players, clearing the books to be able to get DeMar over there. So, I know there have been communication between the Lakers and DeMar’s agent Aaron Goodwin. It will either take a one-year deal, or a sign-and-trade we can get a three-year deal.”

Thompson signed a three-year, $50 million deal with the Mavericks, which put to bed the Lakers hopes of adding him to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. DeRozan is likely the next best option for Los Angeles, and he would certainly be a strong addition.

He averaged 24 points, 5.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 79 games for the Chicago Bulls in 2023-24, which are numbers that are actually superior to Thompson’s numbers. He doesn’t have the same championship pedigree, but he could take a load off of James and Davis offensively and help the Lakers develop a balanced attack.

James has notably not re-signed with the Lakers yet, but he is expected to re-sign with the team. Of note, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on the Hoop Collective podcast that James would take a pay cut if it helped the team land DeRozan.

The Lakers went 47-35 and lost in the first round of the playoffs in 2023-24.

First appeared on bleacherreport.com

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