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NBA Off-Season Rumors: DeRozan to the Clippers Doesn't Pass the Smell Test

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Apparently, the Clippers are a team that's being linked with Toronto Raptor DeMar DeRozan.

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

DeMar DeRozan is a very good basketball player.  He's a 6'7" athletic wing from Los Angeles who was an All-Star last season for the second time and scored over 20 points per game for the third season in a row.  Despite not being much of a three-point shooter, he posted by far a career-best last season at 34%, and he'll turn just 27 this August.  He's also a free agent.

DeMar DeRozan is being linked with the Clippers in free agency.  This makes tons of sense as the kind of rumor that gets spread around despite having absolutely no basis in reality.  The Clippers need a small forward (and while DeMar plays SG in Toronto there's nothing stopping him from playing SF), and they play in DeRozan's hometown, and people seem to have this idea that every free agent ever wants to leave Toronto to come play for one of the big-market coastal teams in the United States--Lakers, Clippers, Warriors, Knicks, Heat, etc.

Here's why it makes absolutely no sense in reality:

1. DeMar doesn't want to leave Toronto.  They're a really good team with a really strong fanbase, and he's been really successful spending his entire career growing as a Raptor.

2. DeMar DeRozan isn't even going to meet with other teams because he's so eager to get a deal done with the Raptors.

3. The Clippers only have their mid-level exception of 5.628 million to offer free agents.  We don't know exactly how much he'll end up getting, but he's being mentioned in the same breath as a maximum-salary deal that would give him $153 million over five years.

4. The only way for the Clippers to pay DeMar more than that in free agency would be to renounce everyone, and still offer less than 15 million a year.  They'll only get a chance to even make that offer if negotiations blow up with Toronto, in which case he'll be leaving to seek MORE money than the Raptors offered, not significantly less.

5. If they really want to offer DeMar a maximum salary, they'd have to receive him in a sign-and-trade for Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, or DeAndre Jordan.  Again, DeMar is very good at basketball, but there's no way in hell that the Clippers would break up their big three and send one of those guys out to bring him in.

So, yeah, people can talk about DeMar DeRozan to the Clippers on twitter, and it can be fun for a few days, and then free agency will hit and he'll get $150,000,000 to go back to Toronto without so much as fielding a phone call from Doc Rivers.  Let's make sure that rumors pass the smell test before we treat them seriously.