Regardless of the outcome of the 2019-20 NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets are highly expected to find ways to acquire their third superstar this fall. Though the team has yet to see its roster at full strength, the Nets think that they still need additional star power around Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in order to have a legitimate chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy next year. One of the potential trade targets for the Nets in the 2020 offseason is All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan of the San Antonio Spurs.
DeRozan may be expected to opt into the final year of his contract, but with the Spurs likely shifting their focus to the future, most people believe that they would explore trading him this fall. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Nets may consider sending a package that includes Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie to the Spurs to acquire DeRozan in the 2020 offseason.
“For the Nets, this is about converting their up-and-comers into an established third star, which is something they’re already exploring, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. DeRozan isn’t the cleanest fit for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but this might be the best the trade market has to bear. If Brooklyn gets enough spacing from its other spots, it should still have room to function on offense. DeRozan’s threat as a scorer and creator is steep enough to prevent opponents from overloading on the Nets’ stars.”
DeRozan would give the Nets an All-Star caliber shooting guard who would serve as the third fiddle behind Irving and Durant in the 2020-21 NBA season. Though he’s still hesitant to consistently shoot the ball from beyond the arc, DeRozan remains a very reliable contributor on the offensive end of the floor. Aside from being a prolific scorer, he could also help the Nets in terms of rebounding, playmaking, and defending the perimeter.
This season, DeRozan is averaging 22.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.0 steals while shooting 52.7 percent from the field, per ESPN. He may not be able to create more space for Uncle Drew and KD, but his presence on the court is enough to attract defenders from opposing teams.
Meanwhile, the proposed deal is indeed a no-brainer for the Spurs, especially if they finally decide to focus on the development of their young players and undergo a full-scale rebuild. Instead of losing DeRozan in the summer of 2021 as an unrestricted free agent without getting anything in return, the Spurs would be receiving a potential franchise centerpiece in LeVert and a veteran mentor and backup for Dejounte Murray in Dinwiddie.