After being swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, rumors started to circulate that the Toronto Raptors may consider making a roster overhaul in the upcoming offseason. Marc Stein of the New York Times recently reported that no one is untouchable on the Raptors, even the face of the franchise, DeMar DeRozan. As Stein noted, the Raptors already explored trading DeRozan last offseason, and there is a high possibility that they will make him available again on the trading block this summer.
Despite his inconsistent performance in the recent playoffs, the Raptors are still expecting valuable assets from teams who are interested in adding DeMar DeRozan to their roster. Jason Reed of Fansided’s LA Sports Hub suggested that the Los Angeles Lakers could be one of NBA teams who may consider engaging in a trade deal with the Raptors this offseason.
Since assuming front office roles, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka have already revealed their plans to bring superstars in Los Angeles. In the past months, multiple reports claimed that the Lakers will chase two maximum-salaried players in the free agency market. But with the current assets they have, they may also consider taking the trade route, wherein DeMar DeRozan could be a potential target.
DeRozan is a Los Angeles native, and it’s worth noting that the Lakers were one of his top suitors when he became an unrestricted free agent in 2016 offseason. However, to acquire him from the Raptors, the Lakers may need to at least include Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, or Brandon Ingram in the trade package. In LA Sports Hub‘s proposed trade scenario, the Lakers will be sending Ingram and Luol Deng to Toronto for DeRozan. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
The suggested trade will help both teams in addressing the issues on their roster. The Lakers will be acquiring a legitimate superstar, while successfully dumping Deng’s contract to the Raptors. Acquiring DeMar DeRozan could only be the start of the Lakers’ plan to build a title-contending team since they could still chase the likes of Paul George, LeBron James, and DeMarcus Cousins in the free agency market.
For the Raptors, the acquisition of Brandon Ingram will help them speed up the rebuilding process. Despite a disappointing rookie season, Ingram has shown massive improvement in his sophomore season, and if he continues his development, there is a strong possibility that he could be the next face of the Raptors’ franchise.