Kings acquiring DeRozan creates golden opportunity for Blazers

Sacramento landing DeMar DeRozan is good news for Portland.
Portland Trail Blazers v Chicago Bulls
Portland Trail Blazers v Chicago Bulls / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim Bontemps report that the Sacramento Kings are acquiring DeMar DeRozan from the Chicago Bulls via sign-and-trade. The San Antonio Spurs are the third team involved in the deal. The 34-year-old DeRozan will sign a three-year, $74 million deal with the Kings.

Here are the details of the trade:

DeRozan trade

Western Conference continues to get stronger

As someone who relies on their mid-range game and has limited attempts beyond the arc, DeRozan's fit isn't perfect in Sacramento alongside stars De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, both of whom are elite at attacking the paint and benefit from floor spacing.

However, it was clear that the Kings needed to make a move to add more talent after missing out on the playoffs this season. Despite the concerns surrounding DeRozan's fit and play style, it's an excellent move for the Kings, who now add a six-time All-Star to their roster.

Many teams in the loaded Western Conference significantly improved this offseason, including the Thunder, Timberwolves, Suns, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Spurs, and Pelicans (depending on what happens with Brandon Ingram). The Kings made a great move to keep up in the competitive West, as this addition increases their playoff chances in the 2024-25 season. However, one team that continues falling behind due to their lack of moves is the Los Angeles Lakers.

Blazers have leverage in Jerami Grant trade talks with Lakers

Despite their pressing window to win immediately with the 39-year-old LeBron James, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka hasn't made a significant move outside of the draft. They have been involved in several potential blockbuster trades or free agency rumors, whether Dejounte Murray, Klay Thompson, or DeRozan, but have come up short every time.

The market for available talent has dwindled, and as a result, Blazers' forward Jerami Grant is one of the only remaining names that would be a significant addition to help a team get over the top. Other wings also seem available, including Wizards' Kyle Kuzma and Nets' forwards Cam Johnson and Dorain-Finney Smith, to name a few. But none of them have the firepower to make a "splash" like Grant, who had 21 points per game on over 40 percent shooting from three last season.

According to Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report, the Blazers and general manager Joe Cronin are asking for a steep return from the Lakers to part with Grant. The current asking price is two first-round picks (2029 and 2031) to go along with players like Rui Hachimura, Gabe Vincent, or Jarred Vanderbilt to make the trade work financially.

Highkin notes that the Lakers are reluctant to give up multiple first-round picks, which is a significant reason why no deal has been done yet. However, missing out on DeRozan could cause them to reevaluate how badly they need Grant. Now that they've missed out on yet another star player, Grant becomes a much more intriguing alternative. Cronin's asking price is steep, but this latest development could make the Lakers feel more pressure and ultimately give in.

It's unclear whether this deal will be done soon, with the Blazers having no incentive to settle on anything less than their asking price. But it is clear that multiple Western Conference teams significantly improved their rosters this offseason, and the Lakers, with an aging James, must feel a sense of urgency to add another piece to their roster.