DeMar DeRozan
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DeMar DeRozan Talks About Why He Didn’t Sign With Hometown Lakers

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

During a historic playoff run for the Toronto Raptors, speculation started to run rampant about the immediate future of star guard DeMar DeRozan. The former USC star is a Los Angeles native, and many believed he’d seriously consider joining the Los Angeles Lakers once he hit free agency this summer.

Despite the constant speculation linking DeRozan to his hometown Lakers, the All-Star didn’t hesitate to re-sign with the Raptors once the time came. DeRozan had no intention of leaving after another solid season in Toronto.

Recently, during an interview with Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News, DeRozan was asked why he didn’t sign with the Lakers in free agency:

“When you have an opportunity to go home, that’s something that certainly would cross your mind. But it wasn’t anything,” DeRozan told Southern California News Group. “After I finish playing, I’m pretty sure I’ll live in L.A. But I just wanted to do something special and leave a legacy of my own in Toronto.”

The appeal of playing for the Lakers has drastically diminished over the last few years. Not only were free agents reluctant to share the court with another alpha dog like Kobe Bryant, but the franchise has headed in a downward spiral ever since he tore his Achilles in 2013.

After a franchise-worst 17 wins last season, the Lakers have missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons. As if that weren’t bad enough, the front office can’t seem to lure in big-name players in free agency nor make blockbuster deals with the lack of assets.

As for DeRozan, the up-and-comer may have made the right move. The Raptors are a good position in the Eastern Conference and could continue to make strides with DeRozan and Kyle Lowry being a dynamic backcourt duo. The Cleveland Cavaliers may still be the cream of the crop in the East, but Toronto may not be far behind.

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