We have yet to see Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James battle it out on the grandest stage. The Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks went all the way to the NBA Finals — and won — on back-to-back years, but unfortunately, the basketball gods have not blessed us with a LeBron vs. Giannis Finals. Could 2024 be the year? I say, why not?
Both the Bucks and the Lakers came up short this past season, with Milwaukee, in particular, suffering a highly-disappointing first-round exit in the East. The Lakers, on the other hand, went beyond most people’s expectations by going all the way to the Conference Finals, only to be embarrassingly destroyed by the eventual champs, Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, in a 4-0 sweep.
Given how both their seasons came to an end, you can be sure that both sides will be retooling in the offseason. For their part, the Lakers could be aiming high as they look to add another bona fide star into the mix to complete their Big 3 with LeBron and Anthony Davis.
Lakers Acquire DeMar DeRozan From Bulls In Proposed Blockbuster Deal
Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report lined up a handful of realistic NBA free agency trades, and one that had more than a few fans interested was a blockbuster deal that saw LA land DeMar DeRozan from the Chicago Bulls:
“Los Angeles Lakers acquire DeMar DeRozan from the Chicago Bulls for Malik Beasley, Mo Bamba, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Max Christie and a 2029 first-round pick,” Hughes wrote.
The Lakers would get a major upgrade on the offensive end with DeRozan and his 24.5 points per game in the picture. This would lighten the load offensively for both LeBron and AD, allowing them to focus more on the other areas of the game. DeRozan is a walking bucket and he’s the type who can make something out of nothing in the half-court game — a feature that the Lakers clearly lacked last season.
As for the Bulls, they would potentially acquire a couple of expiring contracts in this bold trade proposal. However, the sell here for them has to be rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino and incoming second-year guard Max Christie. The 2029 first-rounder is a big one too, as Chicago looks to collect as many future assets as they can ahead of a looming rebuild.
Wild Trade Would Spell Trouble For Milwaukee Bucks
How would this affect the Bucks, might you ask? Well, initially, this would mean that Milwaukee would have one less East rival to worry about. Parting ways with DeRozan in exchange for young studs and future assets would be an indication of Chicago’s willingness to embrace a full rebuild. Most recently, the Bucks faced the Bulls in the first-round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs. This isn’t likely to happen anytime soon if Chicago opts to green-light a long-overdue roster revamp.
If the Bucks achieve their goal of reaching the 2024 NBA Finals, however, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they end up facing a new-look Lakers side. With DeRozan in the mix, the Lakers would propel themselves as one of the favorites in the West, regardless of how the other conference contenders shape up. In this hypothetical scenario, Giannid and Co. would undoubtedly face a formidable challenge in a LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and DeMar DeRozan-led Lakers side.
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Frequently Asked Questions
DeMar DeRozan's rating in NBA 2K is 87. The creators of the game consider various factors like player skills, past performances, and statistics to determine player ratings. DeRozan's rating in 2K is a reflection of his gameplay abilities in the virtual world of NBA.
DeRozan chose the jersey number 11 after the retirement of number 10 by the Bulls, which was in honor of great Bob Love.
DeMar DeRozan's contract with the Bulls still has one year remaining. He signed a three-year extended, $81.9 million deal before the 2021-22 season, and the upcoming season will be the last on his current contract. It remains to be seen if there will be an extension to the offer before the start of the new season or not.