Despite losing Kawhi Leonard last summer, the San Antonio Spurs still decided to remain a competitive team in the league. With DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge on their roster, the Spurs managed to extend their playoff streak in the 2018-19 NBA season by finishing as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. Unfortunately, in the NBA Playoffs 2019, the Spurs failed to advance in the second round for the second straight year after being eliminated by the Denver Nuggets.
DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge are undeniably the major reasons why the Spurs remain a legitimate playoff contender in the Western Conference. However, if they don’t want to remain a mediocre team in the NBA, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report believes that the Spurs are better off breaking up the tandem of DeRozan and Aldridge. Swartz suggested that the Spurs should consider trading DeRozan before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.
“In their lone year together, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeRozan led the Spurs to 48 wins — just one more than the previous season when Kawhi Leonard suited up for only nine games. DeRozan should have had a far greater impact, but San Antonio was 5.0 points per 100 possessions worse with him in the game. In 2,242 minutes together, he and Aldridge posted a net rating of just plus-0.5, which is a low number for a pair of stars. Both are considered throwbacks who don’t possess reliable three-point shots, thus shrinking the court for others around them.”
— Spurs Nation (@Spurs_Nation) September 4, 2019
Once DeMar DeRozan becomes officially available on the trading block, one of the NBA teams who could express strong interest in acquiring him is the Miami Heat. In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Heat would be sending a trade package including Justise Winslow and Kelly Olynyk to the Spurs in exchange for DeRozan. The deal works on ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.
Trading for DeMar DeRozan makes sense for the Heat, especially now that they have Jimmy Butler on their roster. To boost their chance of making a huge impact in the Eastern Conference next season, the Heat will need another superstar who can ease the load on Butler’s shoulder on the offensive end of the floor. DeRozan may not be an accurate three-point shooter, but he remains a very reliable scoring option. Last season, the 30-year-old shooting guard averaged 21.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting 48.1 percent from the field.
The deal would not only be beneficial for the Heat, but also for the Spurs. In exchange for DeMar DeRozan, the Spurs would be acquiring the 23-year-old Justise Winslow who would be an incredible addition to their young and promising core of Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Bryn Forbes, and Lonnie Walker IV. Kelly Olynyk may just be a salary cap filler, but his ability to space the floor would make him an intriguing frontcourt partner for LaMarcus Aldridge next season.