Despite how it still remains unsure whether the NBA will resume the 2019-20 season or cancel it due to the coronavirus pandemic, trade and free-agency rumors have continued to surround some of the league’s better players, including San Antonio Spurs shooting guard DeMar DeRozan. The veteran backcourt star has often been brought up as a player the Spurs should trade as the onetime postseason mainstays rebuild their roster, and in the latest report to suggest this, the Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons were among the teams mentioned as his most likely suitors.
In a list of players that may be most likely to change teams in the coming offseason, Bleacher Report‘s Dan Favale noted in his entry for DeRozan that the 30-year-old guard is “not in a position” to realistically opt-out of the final year of his contract, which will pay him $27.7 million in the 2020-21 season. He added that the 2020 free-agent class is expected to be a week one, with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis standing out as the only one who could benefit from a new long-term deal, pointing out as well that most of the teams with more than enough salary-cap space don’t exactly “need” DeRozan.
Regarding DeRozan’s most ideal options at this point, Favale wrote that the four-time All-Star might be better off finishing the 2020-21 season with the Spurs and joining the free-agent class of 2021, which is expected to be led by 2019 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. He pointed out, however, that there may be some teams, including the Pistons and Hornets, that might need a “from-scratch jolt” of offense, despite DeRozan’s notable lack of outside shooting.
“DeRozan is both the oddest fit [on the Spurs] and the highest-ceiling trade asset. His absence of three-point shooting is an inconvenience. He needs to be surrounded by three or four shooters to maximize his scoring and playmaking. That’s not an unreasonable ask for certain teams.”
.@DeMar_DeRozan was all the way in his bag earlier this year in Boston ????
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 31, 2020
Although no suggested trades were mentioned in the Bleacher Report piece, Charlotte (23-42) and Detroit (20-46) were both far removed from playoff contention at the time the 2019-20 season was suspended on March 11. Both teams, however, might have some holes to fill at the shooting guard position. As explained by ESPN, both members of the Hornets’ starting backcourt — Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham — are natural point guards.
Meanwhile, the Pistons got some solid performances from third-year shooting guard Luke Kennard in 2019-20, though as the team’s NBA.com page noted, the 23-year-old has been out of action since December due to tendinitis in both knees.
In addition to the Pistons and the Hornets, Bleacher Report‘s Favale also mentioned the Orlando Magic, who have long been rumored to be one of DeRozan’s leading suitors in the trade market.