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DeMar DeRozan has been shredding the Lakers since they picked Russell Westbrook over him


Many people, including himself, expected that DeMar DeRozan would be headed to Los Angeles to play with the Lakers this summer in what would have been a homecoming for one of Southern California's finest sports talents. Instead, the Purple and Gold decided to pull off an unexpected move by shipping the remainder of their tradeable contracts to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Russell Westbrook.

The deal would bring Westbrook's massive contract onto the Lakers' books and, in turn, eliminate any chance of DeRozan finally joining his childhood team this season. DeRozan then signed with the Chicago Bulls alongside two other Laker discards, Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball.

DeRozan's desire to play for his hometown team was no secret, but with LeBron James and Anthony Davis already there, questions about the dynamic between the three players raised several questions. Neither player shoots the three often; they all like to shoot off the dribble from the perimeter while needing the ball in their hands to be effective. It's for this reason that names like Buddy Hield were linked with the Lakers early in the offseason because the Purple and Gold badly needed someone who could space the floor while putting points on the board.

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Instead, the Lakers decided to acquire someone who is even less adept than DeRozan at all the matters of concern raised by basketball fans and pundits regarding DeRozan. However, DeMar seems to be thriving in Chicago with a similar set of star teammates, big man Nikola Vucevic and a ball-dominant Zach Lavine. The result?

The Bulls are 18-10, currently holding on to the second spot in the Eastern Conference, while the Lakers are 16-15 and struggling to keep their heads above water. Chicago has now swept the season series against Los Angeles, and DeMar DeRozan has been letting LeBron and company know what they missed out on. In two games against the Lakers, DeRozan is averaging 38 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 6 assists - so much for not being able to thrive with two other superstars in the lineup.

Looking back, would DeRozan have been a better fit on the Lakers than Westbrook? Well, if you watch the way those guys in Chicago are working together, the answer is yes. DeRozan is a unique kind of superstar with an abundance of skill but a willingness to share the limelight with his peers; that's why the long partnership between him and Lowry in Toronto worked so well. 

DeRozan still does not attempt many threes, averaging 2.5 attempts per game from beyond the arc. It's not many, but already double compared to his last year's average. DeMar doesn't love the three but takes it anyway when he knows it's within the rhythm of the offense, when not attempting the shot would be more harmful to the team in the long run.

DeRozan is a true professional, and he is playing like a winner, two things the Lakers did not seem to improve on in their offseason. If DeMar can fit with Vucevic and Lavine, then LeBron and AD would have been a breeze. LeBron likely goes back to the point guard position, and the Lakers would have brought in some firepower to make sure it would not just be DeRozan benefitting from The King's brilliance. It would have been amazing to see, but it's just too bad that we will never be able to see it. 

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