DeMar DeRozan may be expected to opt into the final year of his contract this fall, but he’s currently facing an uncertain future with the San Antonio Spurs. With the team likely heading into an inevitable rebuild, many people believe that the Spurs should explore trading him in the 2020 offseason. One intriguing destination for DeRozan is the Toronto Raptors.
Despite controversially sending him to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard in the summer of 2018, it still makes a lot of sense for the Raptors to bring DeRozan back this fall. In order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and contending for the NBA championship title next year, the Raptors obviously need more star power on the roster. According to Fadeaway World, returning to the Raptors would be the “greatest storybook move” for the All-Star shooting guard.
“The greatest storybook move for DeRozan would be to join the Raptors again. DeRozan made it clear how much he enjoyed playing in Toronto, and how the city embraced him because he essentially put them on the map in the East alongside Kyle Lowry. Lowry is still there, the championship roster is still there, and they need a player like DeRozan who can break down the defense and score. A trio of DeRozan, Siakam, and Lowry puts them at the top of the East and makes them the favorite alongside Milwaukee.”
Though he is still hesitant to shoot the ball from beyond the arc, DeRozan could replenish the offensive firepower that the Raptors lost when Leonard left for the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2019 free agency. At 31, he remains a prolific scorer. This season, he averaged 22.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.0 steal while shooting 53.1 percent from the field, per ESPN.
With the years he spent in Toronto, he does not have to familiarize himself with the team, and he wouldn’t have a hard time learning coach Nick Nurse’s system. Being traded back to the Raptors this fall would also be beneficial for DeRozan. Instead of staying on a mediocre team like the Spurs, rejoining the Raptors would give him a much better chance of winning his first NBA championship title while reuniting with his best friend, Kyle Lowry.
Though he remains an All-Star caliber player, the Spurs aren’t expected to demand much in return in exchange for DeRozan. A trade package that includes a young player and a future first-round pick could be enough to convince the Spurs to send him back to Toronto in the 2020 offseason.