Light The Beam: The Final Big Name Free Agent Is Officially Off The Board After DeMar DeRozan Chooses To Join The Kings

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While most of the "big name" free agents had either found their new home or re-upped with their current team after the first few days of NB free agency, pretty much all eyes were on DeMar DeRozan as the last available big fish of the free agent market. We knew he wasn't going back to the Bulls, but where he would actually end up was anyone's guess.

Per usual, we got the same rumors we hear every single summer in regards to every single big name player. You know the "reports" I'm talking about. They look like this

Stop me if you've heard that before. The Heat are "interested" and a "favorite" to land a big name player only to you know, not land that big time player. Everyone then assumed this must mean DeRozan was heading to the Lakers because he's an LA guy despite them not really having any money to spend. Remember when Kyrie Irving was going to go to the Lakers for the minimum or whatever? Those were run times.

In the end, the final destination was a bit of a surprise

It might sound a little crazy, but DeRozan is probably the most accomplished free agent to ever willingly go to the Kings right? I can't remember too many 6x All Stars/3x All NBA players choosing to become a King in free agency when they certainly had their pick of destinations, so for Kings fans this is a great moment. A fun as hell team that's still on the rise (despite a small step back last year), they add a legit offensive weapon into the mix.

Now, from a basketball fit standpoint, I definitely still have questions. It's not as if a lineup with Sabonis/DeRozan/Fox has the best spacing in the world, but I guess that all depends on what you think De'Aaron Fox is as a shooter. Last year was a huge leap forward in that department with him putting up a very respectable 36.9% from deep on 7.8 3PA, so if he can maintain that efficiency and that type of volume, I think that's half the battle. You have surrounding players like Keegan Murray/Kevin Huerter who will help keep defenses honest and allow DeRozan the space to do what he does best


and what shouldn't be overlooked is one of the best 4th quarter teams in the league who already had an extremely clutch/big time 4th quarter player in Fox is adding arguably an even better 4th quarter player as well

If you've ever watched a Kings game, you know how somehow things always come down to late game execution for them. It doesn't matter what the lead is at any point in the game, their 4th quarters are always electric and filled with drama. 

There is something to be said about finding ways to bring in the best talent possible and then figuring it out on the court later. For the Kings, that's partially why this is such a significant signing. If you look around the West, there's real opportunity and the Kings who finished 46-36 and a 9 seed have now added an elite talent to the mix. I think most expect teams like the Clippers to drop a little bit, the Lakers still haven't really signed anyone of substance, the Pelicans are about to trade Brandon Ingram, the Nuggets lost KCP and didn't really replace that type of player, so maybe DeRozan looked at the landscape and figured the Kings not only were a solid financial option, but one that with him added to the fold could easily find themselves back out of the Play In.

And quickly, not to rub it in to any Bulls fan that might be reading this blog, but we should mention how their decision to not sell high at last year's trade deadline has worked out. 

Since that decision, they've now offloaded/lost DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso, and Andre Drummond.

Their return? Josh Giddey, Chris Duarte, and some 2nd round picks. That feels….kind of like a mismanagement of assets. With Vuc and LaVine still on the roster, I have no idea what their plan is. If you're going to sell off pieces, that's fine. Rebuild. But part of that rebuild requires getting actual pieces back, especially when it comes to your best players.

For the Kings, this is a gamble worth taking in my opinion. It's not as if you're paying DeRozan crazy money (24-26M) and while that takes him through his age 37 season, from the looks of things there still appears to be plenty left in the tank. At the worst, you can always flip him down the road if needed.