The Lakers made the wrong decision.
Speaking to Mike Greenberg, Hall of Fame point guard and former exec Magic Johnson made the Lakers fan base feel crap after he revealed that DeMar Derozan nearly landed in Los Angeles, but the potential deal was nixed once LeBron James and Russell Westbrook started talking about playing together.
“Derozan wanted to play for the Lakers,” Magic explained. “And when I got the call from his agent, I called the Lakers and said ‘Hey, he wants to come home,’ and Derozan could’ve been a Laker instead of a Bull … but when Russell and LeBron and them started talking … they went with Westbrook and he became a Laker instead of Derozan.”
DeRozan was not only interested in playing for the Purple and Gold, but he also thought it was a “done deal.”
“I felt like going to the Lakers was a done deal and that we were going to figure it out. I was going to come home,” DeRozan said in November. “The business side of things just didn’t work out. A couple of things didn’t align. It didn’t work out. It’s just part of the business, part of the game.”
In the end, the sticking point between DeRozan and the Lakers was as small as not offering him a third year on his proposed contract.
The 2021-22 season has been an outright disaster for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Many seem to agree that, one way or another, trading for Russell Westbrook was a big mistake, and apparently the team plans to look to either trade or waive him this summer.
What could’ve been for a team that won the NBA world championship less than 18 months ago.