The Los Angeles Lakers are no longer viewing DeMar DeRozan as a top target in free agency, according to a source close to the organization.
The Lakers and DeRozan have been linked to one another for a few years. But it seems like both parties aren’t going to entertain thoughts of coming together next season.
A few days ago, the Compton product expressed his desire to re-sign with Toronto Raptors this offseason. “My mindset has always been Toronto. I’ve always preached it. I was passionate about it when we were losing, when we were terrible. I said I was going to stick through this whole thing, and I want to be that guy who brings this organization to where it is now. I definitely don’t want to switch that up after we win,” DeRozan said after his Raptors got bounced out of the Eastern Conference Finals by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Lakers not high on DeMar DeRozan?
Kevin Ding, Bleacher Report’s Lakers reporter, revealed that the Lakers aren’t too keen on DeRozan. “There’s a lot of presumption about Derozan and I’m told the Lakers aren’t that high on him,” Ding told BR Radio over the weekend.
DeRozan was an integral member of the Raptors squad that made their first conference finals in franchise history. “I took pride in putting that Raptors jersey on when people counted us out or when people said, ‘Why go to Toronto? Why this, why that, why this, why that?’ You hear it so much — that gave me the motivation to want to prove people wrong or prove critics wrong — why this organization can’t be a winning organization,” DeRozan said, hinting at staying with Raptors.
When asked about his connection with the Lakers, DeRozan said: “I grew up in L.A. That’s my home. There’s not a part of L.A. I haven’t seen. I don’t get caught up into it. I let whoever comes up with that say what they want to say.”
DeMar DeRozan attended Compton High School and USC before being drafted by Raptors in the 2009 NBA Draft. Despite his connection with California, expect the shooting guard to sign a five-year max extension with Raptors this summer. After all, Toronto can offer him more money than anyone else.