All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan was the consolation prize that the San Antonio Spurs got when they traded disgruntled superstar Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors in the summer of 2018. Though a superstar-for-superstar trade helped the Spurs extend their playoff streak, having DeRozan as their leader is clearly not enough to bring them back to title contention. With the Spurs currently out of the playoff race in the 2019-20 NBA season, rumors have started to circulate around DeRozan and his future in San Antonio.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Spurs are already exploring the possibility of trading DeRozan before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. Unfortunately, his current contract is making it hard for the Spurs to find an ideal trade partner.
“The Spurs have been exploring the market for DeMar DeRozan, but a source with knowledge of his situation is quick to point out that the free-agent-to-be has a significant influence on the situation here too,” Amick wrote, as quoted by ClutchPoints. “DeRozan, who has a $27.7 million player option for next season, will have the freedom to walk this summer if he doesn’t like his next landing spot. It’s tough to find serious takers when you know the guy might skip town in just a few months.”
DeRozan would undeniably be a great trade target for NBA teams who are in dire need of additional star power to contend for the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season. Despite his inability to efficiently knock down shots from beyond the arc, DeRozan remains a very reliable contributor on the offensive end of the floor. This season, the 30-year-old shooting guard is averaging 22.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.0 assists while shooting 53.4 percent shooting from the field.
However, with DeRozan expected to exercise his player option to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, trading for him is indeed a risky move. As Amick noted, there is a strong chance that DeRozan will only be a rental for the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season if he doesn’t like his trade destination. Also, as of now, it remains unknown what type of trade assets the Spurs are looking for in a potential deal involving DeRozan.
If they fail to find a trade partner for DeRozan before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline, the Spurs are reportedly open to the possibility of keeping him long-term in San Antonio. Though they don’t currently have a clear path to title contention, Amick revealed DeRozan and the Spurs could still enter a negotiation regarding a contract extension.