West Team Emerging as Favorite for DeMar DeRozan, And It’s Not Lakers: Report

West Team Emerging as Favorite for DeMar DeRozan, And It's Not Lakers: Report

DeMar DeRozan, a six-time NBA All-Star and three-time All-NBA Team selection, delivered an impressive performance in the 2023-24 season with the Chicago Bulls. DeRozan, at age 34, averaged 24 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game over 37.8 minutes. His consistency and veteran leadership have made him a highly sought-after player in the free agent market this offseason.

Kings Step Up in DeRozan Sweepstakes

Despite interest from notable contenders like the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, the Sacramento Kings have emerged as a leading candidate to acquire DeRozan. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported on SportsCenter that the Kings are now the “team to watch” in securing the star free agent.

“The Kings and Bulls have been in discussions this week,” Wojnarowski shared. “They’ll need a third team for a sign-and-trade. Chicago is willing to help DeMar get more than the mid-level exception with a team that lacks cap space, but they don’t want to take on significant contracts. A third team is necessary to manage a larger salary, and talks are ongoing.”

Sacramento’s Recent Performance and Roster Dynamics

The Sacramento Kings are coming off a promising 2023-24 season where they finished with a 46-36 record. However, they narrowly missed a postseason berth after falling to the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA Play-In Tournament. The previous season saw them securing a playoff spot with a 48-34 record, finishing as the Western Conference’s third seed, though they were eliminated in the first round by the Golden State Warriors.

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Star Players Leading the Kings

The Kings’ resurgence can be largely credited to the outstanding play of star point guard De’Aaron Fox and versatile big man Domantas Sabonis. Additionally, Sacramento boasts a strong supporting cast, including Keegan Murray, Harrison Barnes, and Malik Monk, who recently signed a significant four-year, $78 million extension.

Potential Impact of Adding DeRozan

Adding DeRozan to the Kings’ lineup could have a transformative impact on their offensive and clutch performance. Known for his scoring and playmaking abilities, DeRozan finished second in Clutch Player of the Year voting last season, trailing only Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry. With De’Aaron Fox, the previous season’s Clutch Player of the Year, the Kings could field one of the NBA’s most formidable clutch duos, positioning them for a significant rise in the Western Conference standings.

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West Team Emerging as Favorite for DeMar DeRozan, And It's Not Lakers: Report
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – APRIL 09: DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls reacts against the New York Knicks during the first half at the United Center on April 09, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. A new team has emerged as the favorite in the DeRozan sweepstakes. Less MICHAEL REAVES/GETTY IMAGES

For the Kings to acquire DeRozan, they will likely need to structure a sign-and-trade deal involving a third team. This maneuver would allow Chicago to facilitate DeRozan’s move while avoiding the burden of absorbing substantial contracts. The Bulls would likely seek draft picks or other forms of compensation in return for parting ways with their veteran star.

Conclusion

As the offseason progresses, the Sacramento Kings’ pursuit of DeMar DeRozan promises to be one of the most intriguing storylines. With his proven track record and clutch capabilities, DeRozan could be the missing piece to elevate the Kings into serious contention in the Western Conference. The potential addition of DeRozan not only strengthens the Kings’ roster but also injects excitement into their fan base, eager for a return to playoff prominence.

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Stay tuned for further developments as trade discussions continue, and the Kings aim to solidify their status as a rising force in the NBA.

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