According to NBA Insider Brian Windhorst, veteran coach Gregg Popovich would have made things difficult for a DeMar DeRozan to LA Lakers trade to fall through.
With the Lakers staring at an embarrassing exit to their 2021-22 campaign, one can expect a slew of layoffs this off-season. Things have only worsened with LeBron James and co being unable to secure a spot in the play-in tournament. A lot of the decisions look extremely flawed in hindsight.
The decision to not acquire DeMar DeRozan despite his inclination to suit up for the Lakers and play for his hometown continues to haunt Rob Pelinka and co. However, LeGM wanted Russell Westbrook on board over DeRozan, and the rest is history.
While Deebo is having an MVP year with the Bulls, Westbrook has struggled all season long, proving to be a liability for the purple and gold. Nonetheless, the DeRozan-Lakers trade wasn’t as easy as it seemed, courtesy of Gregg Popovich.
The veteran Spurs coach has a general dislike for the Lakers franchise and would go all out to ensure they don’t get the services of DeRozan.
Gregg Popovich would create hurdles in the DeMar DeRozan-Lakers trade.
With the Lakers 2021-22 campaign at its end stage, everyone has donned the analyst hat to determine what went wrong for the team this season. The failed DeRozan trade has been one of the hot topics of discussion lately, especially after seeing him play this season.
Born and brought up in LA, DeRozan always dreamt of suiting up for the Lakers. Unfortunately, Pelinka and co couldn’t offer the five-time All-Star something worthwhile, resulting in him joining the Bulls. Recently, Lakers legend Magic Johnson addressed how DeRozan’s agent had informed him about wanting to join the purple and gold.
Nevertheless, LBJ decided to have his close friend Westbrook over DeRozan. Though James has been facing a lot of heat for this, the Lakers getting DeRozan wasn’t as easy as it seemed. Coach Pop’s dislike for the Lakers would have made things difficult.
According to ESPN analyst Brian Windhorst,
“I do think, from what I am told, San Antonio was interested in making a deal, said Windy on his podcast. “But what they wanted and what the Lakers may have wanted may not have — it never got to that point. As you know, Pop doesn’t like the Lakers. I don’t think he was going to make it easy.”
However, sources close to DeRozan stated that the Lakers were in disarray and didn’t have a vision of what they were doing. Though there is no clear reason behind the deal not falling through, the bottom line is that the Lakers are on the brink of falling off from the play-in scenario while the Bulls have cemented their position for the postseason.