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Kings Owner Channels Kendrick Lamar in DeMar DeRozan Welcome Message

Kings Owner Channels Kendrick Lamar in DeMar DeRozan Welcome Message

With all the buzz around DeMar DeRozan appearing in Kendrick Lamar’s “Not Like Us” music video, it was only appropriate for Vivek Ranadive to mention it when formally welcoming the former Chicago Bulls star to the Sacramento Kings.

After DeRozan’s sign-and-trade deal was confirmed, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive spoke to him on camera. Ranadive humorously mentioned the other teams interested in DeRozan before stating that those teams were “not like us,” referencing Lamar’s iconic diss track at Drake, which includes a line about DeRozan.

“So I know DeMar, everybody wants you. Every team, every city, all the players. But I got one thing to tell you. They’re nothing like us!” said Ranadive to the delight of DeRozan.

The Kings acquired the veteran free agent through a three-year, $74 million sign-and-trade deal. The trade involves sending Harrison Barnes to the San Antonio Spurs and Chris Duarte to the Chicago Bulls, as confirmed by the teams on Monday.

DeMar DeRozan’s signing with the Kings signifies the franchise’s ambitions. Over the past few years, they have climbed the Western Conference ranks by building a strong roster around De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. They broke their 16-year playoff drought in 2023 but were eliminated in the first round by the Warriors.

This season, the Kings reached the play-in tournament but were ousted by the New Orleans Pelicans. They aim to make significant progress in the competitive Western Conference next year.

Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) warms up before the game against the New York Knicks at United Center.
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento already possessed a potent two-man game, a fluid offense, and a skilled closer. Now, with DeRozan on board, they have increased diversity in all those areas. DeRozan’s most significant contribution to the Kings is providing a viable alternative. When Sabonis faces tough matchups or struggles, Sacramento can rely on DeRozan to initiate a different style of offense.

When Fox struggles with his jumper, DeRozan can draw fouls and help the Kings get to the free-throw line, which was a challenge for them last season.

Additionally, if opponents focus heavily on defending Sacramento’s typical offensive actions, DeRozan provides an option to score outside of their usual rhythms.

Demar DeRozan’s arrival marks a significant change from a player like Barnes, who primarily focused on floor spacing and staying out of Foz and Sabonis’ way on offense last season.

In contrast, accommodating DeRozan will require the Kings to create space actively, as he often operated with the ball in his hands more frequently than most other frontcourt players in the league last season.

DeRozan, a six-time All-Star, posted averages of 24 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists with the Bulls last season. He also finished as the runner-up to Stephen Curry in the NBA’s Kia Clutch Player of the Year voting.

The 34-year-old is a three-time All-NBA selection, was the ninth overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in 2009. Over his 15-season career, he has played for the Raptors, Spurs, and Bulls, averaging 21.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists across 1,110 NBA games.

Meanwhile, Chicago parts ways with DeRozan, furthering their youth movement by acquiring 21-year-old playmaker Josh Giddey from Oklahoma City earlier this offseason. Duarte, who was an All-Rookie honoree in 2021-22 with Indiana, struggled with injuries and playing time after being traded to the Kings amid Sacramento’s resurgence.

The Spurs on the other hand, are bringing in Barnes to join free agent addition Chris Paul alongside unanimous Kia Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama. Barnes posted averages of 12.2 points and three rebounds for the Kings, shooting 47.4% from the field and 38.7% from beyond the arc.

Source: ClutchPoints, Twitter