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DeMar DeRozan on Lakers’ trade rumors: ‘You always want to be wanted’

Spurs wing DeMar DeRozan

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 03: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the fourth quarter of the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on March 03, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. 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. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

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DeMar DeRozan was born and raised in Compton, then went to college just up the 110 Freeway at USC. DeRozan grew up a fan of Kobe and the Lakers and dreamed of wearing the purple and gold.

Now there’s a rumor the Lakers have kicked the tires on a DeRozan trade with San Antonio, something reported by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. DeRozan went on the “All The Smoke” podcast where Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson and Barnes asked DeRozan about the rumors.

“For me it’s just I’ve learned being in the league so long that you always want to be wanted. So when you see things about teams wanting you, you can’t feel a certain type of way. You’d better feel good about it because there’s some motherf****** that’s not wanted. You don’t want to be that person. So to be wanted by a championship team that just came off a championship, to see that, how could you not feel some type of way? Especially me, being from L.A., it’s like ‘damn, my hometown team want me? They just came off a championship and they want me?’ It’s definitely crazy to be able to see that.”

The Lakers are looking at a number of players to potentially upgrade the roster.

DeRozan is not an ideal fit for the Lakers. First, he’s not a strong defender. Second, on the other end of the court, he gets his buckets in the midrange — 70% of his shot attempts come outside the restricted area and inside the arc. He can hit those shots — he averaged 22.1 points a game last season — but in L.A. he would not space the floor for LeBron James and Anthony Davis to go to work, and both of those current Lakers are more efficient in the midrange. DeRozan needs shooters and defenders around him to best take advantage of his skills, and while the Lakers have some of those players, DeRozan himself doesn’t best complement the Lakers two stars.

In both Toronto and San Antonio, DeRozan was asked to be one of the team’s two primary scorers, but in Los Angeles would have to accept a role as a third star, which might work for him but would be different.

DeRozan could work on the Lakers, but it’s more likely the team goes a different direction with their roster moves. He is right though, it’s always good to be wanted.