NBA rumors: Clippers linked to DeMar DeRozan again if Paul George leaves

DeMar DeRozan is heading into 2024 free agency trying to make the most of the remainder of his NBA days. Whether he stays with the Chicago Bulls or goes elsewhere, the 34-year-old will assuredly want to go somewhere he thinks he can win. It may take movement elsewhere before Deebo makes his decision, including for one team he has been rumored to be an option for

Paul George seemingly remains the biggest domino in this offseason. What he chooses to do — whether he decides to stay with the Los Angeles Clippers or potentially leave for another team — will have massive ripple effects on what teams and players do for the rest of the summer. If he decides to leave LA, it could be DeMar who takes his place.

According to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, the Clippers are a potential destination for DeRozan if George leaves. This adds to a previous report from HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto that DeRozan could be a sign-and-trade candidate to LAC in the event that they want to replace George with him.

Furthermore, Marc Stein notes that Chris Haynes recently said on #thisleague UNCUT that extension talks between DeRozan and the Bulls have “gone cold,” with Chicago prioritizing a Zach LaVine trade. Momentum seems to be increasing toward DeRozan hitting free agency and going elsewhere.

Landing another California kid to take George’s place would be pretty cool for the Clippers, who have Kawhi Leonard and will very likely re-sign James Harden. George seems to want to stay, but he and Los Angeles have been unable to come to an agreement on a contract extension. Whether he tests the open market or takes his player option and demands a trade, the possibility of George skipping town is in play.

DeMar DeRozan seen as potential Clippers addition 

The Clippers bringing in DeRozan would give them another star-level scorer and solid playmaker. George, one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA and someone who has been a very good defender in the past, still fits a lot better on top of having familiarity with the roster. But having DeRozan, a clutch player who is eager to add a championship to his resumé, would be better than losing George without a replacement in place.

George has been linked to the Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic this offseason. He was also linked to the New York Knicks, though they aren’t in play for him anymore after landing Mikal Bridges. The Warriors, who would allow George to stay in his home state, could potentially offer him a max contract. The Clippers not offering George the contract he wants is bound to end in a split unless one side blinks in negotiations.

It was long believed the Bulls wanted to keep DeRozan, but now that they have Josh Giddey as a young piece, the fit together may not be as good. Giddey being a primary ball-handler and unimpressive three-point shooter to this point in his career makes him clash a lot with DeRozan. An offense with those two will lack spacing. Chicago doesn’t have much of a chance of winning, anyway, so DeRozan is better off trying to go elsewhere to win.

Landing with the Clippers would be great for DeRozan. He would have other stars to get him easier looks and still have a prominent role. By signing and trading with the Bulls, he could still get one more big contract.

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