With their 4-7 record placing them at a tie for 10th place in the Eastern Conference, the Orlando Magic are having a hard time getting on the right track after a 2018-19 season that saw them sneak into the playoffs as a seventh seed. Given that the team has had some difficulty putting up some points on the board, a recent report suggested that the Magic are interested in acquiring veteran shooting guard DeMar DeRozan from the San Antonio Spurs, in an effort to address one of their biggest weaknesses.
In a report published on Wednesday by The Ringer, Kevin O’Connor mainly focused on the Spurs, but also shed some light on DeRozan’s situation, considering how he has performed well since moving to San Antonio last year in the trade that sent Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors. After speculating that DeRozan “might not be in town for that much longer” and might even be traded before February’s deadline, O’Connor pointed out that the four-time All-Star could also enter free agency in the summer of 2020, assuming he and the Spurs remain “far apart” in contract extension talks as they were before the 2019-20 season.
Talking about likely destinations, O’Connor cited multiple league sources, who claimed that the Magic “have already expressed interest” in acquiring DeRozan as they hope to add an effective scorer to their lineup.
Separately, CBS Sports‘ Brad Botkin went into detail with the potential ramifications of such a deal, explaining that Orlando is struggling to create space for its top scorers, mainly due to wingman Terrence Ross’ regression as an outside shooter. While Botkin noted that DeRozan would “obviously address” the Magic’s needs as a pure scorer, he stressed that the 30-year-old guard might not fix the team’s issues with spacing, given that he rarely attempts shots from three-point range nowadays. As of this writing, DeRozan has attempted only four three-pointers this season, making none of those attempts.
Quite notably, DeRozan’s Basketball-Reference page shows that he was launching a decent number of three-pointers per game shortly before he joined the Spurs. In the 2017-18 campaign, he went 89-for-287 (31 percent) from beyond the arc for the Raptors, though he only attempted 45 last season for San Antonio, sinking just seven of those shots for a dismal 15.6 percent clip.
Although Botkin stressed that DeRozan won’t be a “cure-all solution” for the Magic, the CBS Sports reporter acknowledged that he could be an “interesting” acquisition, speculating that the team could possibly give up forward Aaron Gordon in return. He did, however, state that Orlando could benefit more by acquiring Golden State Warriors star D’Angelo Russell — who has four years remaining on his contract — as opposed to DeRozan, who might turn out to be a “one-year rental” if he chooses to opt out of the final year of his contract next summer.