It has been almost a year since the Toronto Raptors engaged in a blockbuster deal with the San Antonio Spurs involving DeMar DeRozan and Kawhi Leonard. During that time, the Raptors earned plenty of criticism from fans who believed that they traded their most loyal player for a possible one-year rental. However, the Raptors proved that they made the right decision after Leonard led them to their first appearance in the NBA Finals. As of now, the Raptors are one win away from dethroning the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
While the Raptors are on the verge of winning their first NBA championship, rumors and speculation have started to circulate around DeMar DeRozan and his future with the Spurs. In a recent appearance on Ryen Russillo’s podcast, Bobby Marks of ESPN revealed that the Spurs may consider trading DeRozan and the two years and $55.4 million left on his contract to create enough salary cap space to sign Indiana Pacers small forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
“The one guy who’s not a free agent to keep an eye on is DeMar DeRozan in San Antonio,” Marks said. “[The Spurs] have circled Bojan Bogdanovic as their target. And to do that, you’d have to move a contract.”
According to ClutchPoints, the Spurs could hit two birds with one stone by directly engaging in a trade deal with Bojan Bogdanovic’s current team. After Bogdanovic agrees to a sign-and-trade deal, the Pacers could include him in a trade package together with Doug McDermott and a future draft pick that they would send to the Spurs in exchange for DeMar DeRozan.
“There have been reports that the Spurs will be looking to sign Pacers’ Bojan Bogdanovic this summer. However, if they will be able to get him while also successfully unloading DeRozan’s contract, that would be a great deal for San Antonio. Bogdanovic will be a part of the Spurs’ long-term deal if they will be able to sign or trade for him.”
Toronto is playing in its first NBA Finals, but longtime Raptors star DeMar MeRozan is watching on TV. https://t.co/4NfkNbhGZA
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) June 4, 2019
Bojan Bogdanovic would undeniably be an incredible addition to the Spurs, especially if Coach Gregg Popovich intends to use Dejounte Murray and Derrick White as his starting backcourt in the 2019-20 NBA season. Unlike DeMar DeRozan, Bogdanovic is a reliable three-point shooter and can excel in an off-ball capacity. This season, the 30-year-old small forward averaged 18.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists on 49.7 percent shooting from the field, and 42.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
The deal would not only be beneficial for the Spurs, but also for the Pacers. Instead of losing Bojan Bogdanovic as an unrestricted free agent without getting anything in return, they would be receiving an All-Star caliber player in DeMar DeRozan, who could ease the load on Victor Oladipo’s shoulders on the offensive end of the floor next season.