Recent weeks have seen San Antonio Spurs shooting guard DeMar DeRozan figure in several trade rumors. A number of potential suitors, including the Orlando Magic, have been linked to the four-time All-Star — but could his former team, the Toronto Raptors, also be in the running? According to a new report, one unnamed NBA executive believes this just might be possible.
In a report from USA Today‘s HoopsHype that sought to analyze DeRozan’s potential value if placed on the trading block, the outlet’s Frank Urbina explained that aside from the Magic, the Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets have also been mentioned as potential destinations for the Spurs guard. Urbina also quoted a Western Conference team executive, one who hinted at the interesting possibility of the Raptors getting involved in trade talks for DeRozan less than two seasons after they shipped him off to San Antonio.
“It sounds crazy, but Toronto actually makes a lot of sense as a landing spot for DeRozan. As far as what Toronto would have to give up, it would probably have to be a first-round pick plus Serge Ibaka or Marc Gasol.”
As shown on the Raptors’ Basketball-Reference team page, Ibaka has been used in an off-the-bench role in Toronto this season, though he is averaging a solid 14 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in just 22.9 minutes per game. Gasol, meanwhile, has seen a notable decline in his production, as he has, so far, tallied modest statistics that include 5.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per contest in 17 games played. As of this writing, the Raptors are tied for second place in the Eastern Conference with a 13-4 record.
DeRozan, meanwhile, has posted averages of 22.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.6 assists in 19 games for the Spurs, who are presently at 13th place in the Western Conference with a 6-13 record.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 23, 2019
While the idea of DeRozan reuniting with the Raptors might sound “far-fetched,” as Urbina opined, the HoopsHype writer suggested that the anonymous executive might have a point. He explained that there’s a chance DeRozan could thrive in Toronto if he plays “third fiddle” to veteran point guard Kyle Lowry and fourth-year forward Pascal Siakam, while also benefiting from the presence of up-and-coming youngsters such as Fred VanVleet.
On the other hand, Urbina brought up the fact that DeRozan is in the final year of his “enormous” contract, noting that this could prove to be a “stumbling block” for any team that might show interest in the 30-year-old guard before the February trade deadline. As such, he cited the same Western Conference executive, who warned that teams would have to prepare for two possibilities — DeRozan leaving via free agency in the summer of 2020, or having to re-sign him to a massive new long-term contract.