When the 2019-20 NBA season is officially over, veteran shooting guard DeMar DeRozan will need to decide whether or not to opt in to the final year of his contract with the San Antonio Spurs. With the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic impacting the entire league, most people are expecting DeRozan to pick up his $27.7 million option for the 2020-21 season and test the free agency market in the summer of 2021. However, regardless of his impending decision, it seems like DeRozan's departure from San Antonio this fall is inevitable.
In his recent article, Jabari Young of CNBC talked about the Spurs, including their plan for DeRozan in the 2020 offseason. Should the player choose to opt in to the final year of his contract, Young discussed the possibility that the Spurs may consider making him available on the trading block this fall. One agent who reportedly spoke to the outlet predicted San Antonio would engage in a blockbuster deal involving DeRozan and the Miami Heat.
"On the DeRozan front, he'll likely decide to pick up his option. The Spurs could build around him, using the team's bubble play as a roster model or trade him, too, should he opt out. DeRozan is close with Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler, and one agent forecast a possible Spurs-Heat package."
It wouldn't be surprising if the Heat expressed interest in acquiring DeRozan this offseason. Since the successful acquisition of Jimmy Butler, the Heat have been active on the trade market, searching for a second superstar that would improve their chances of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and bringing the Larry O'Brien Trophy home to South Beach. DeRozan might be hesitant to shoot from beyond the arc, but he's still performing like an All-Star.
This season, the 31-year-old shooting guard averaged 22.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.0 steal while shooting 53.1 percent from the field, according to ESPN. Aside from what he could contribute on both ends of the floor, his good relationship with Butler could also play a major role in the Heat's decision to bring him to Miami this fall.
Sending DeRozan to Miami would also make a lot of sense for the Spurs. Instead of losing him in the summer of 2021 without getting anything in return, the Spurs could turn his expiring contract into a young player and/or a future first-round pick by trading him to the Heat. Some of the intriguing targets for San Antonio in the potential deal involving the veteran All-Star include Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Kendrick Nunn.