As much as they want to remain a competitive team in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs currently don’t have a clear path to title contention. Instead of staying a mediocre team, most people believe that the Spurs are better off tearing their roster down and focusing on the development of their young players. If they finally decide to take a different route, several Spurs’ veterans are expected to be available on the trade market this summer, including DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills, and Rudy Gay.
Dan Favale of Bleacher Report believes that, of all those players, DeRozan should be at the top of the list for San Antonio to let walk.
“But DeRozan is both the oddest fit 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. Russell Westbrook has been liberated in the Houston Rockets’ four-out arrangements. The same could happen for DeRozan. Select offenses might just need a from-scratch jolt, spacing implications be damned. DeRozan ranks second in points scored off unassisted two-pointers, according to PBP Stats, and is in the 91st percentile of pick-and-roll efficiency. His brand of offense is complicated, not useless.”
Despite his inability to efficiently knock down shots from the three-point range, DeRozan is still considered an All-Star caliber player in the league. Though floor-spacing is badly needed to succeed in the modern NBA, DeRozan would still be a great addition to NBA teams who are in dire need of additional star power, playmaking, and reliable scoring. At 30, DeRozan is still in his prime and continues to post incredible numbers.
This season, he is averaging 22.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.0 steals while shooting 52.6 percent from the field. If the Spurs won’t make unreasonable demands for DeRozan in the 2020 NBA offseason, several NBA teams are expected to express a strong interest in adding him to their roster. According to Favale, some of the NBA teams to watch in the potential trade involving DeRozan include the Charlotte Hornets, Orlando Magic, and Detroit Pistons.
Some people may think that it is still too early for the Spurs to consider DeRozan a trade asset. DeRozan has a player option on his contract that will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. However, Favale believes that DeRozan is highly likely to opt into the final year of his contract and test the free agency market in the 2021 NBA offseason.