Prior to moving to the San Antonio Spurs in the summer of 2018, DeMar DeRozan established himself as the Toronto Raptors‘ top scorer, making the All-Star Game four times during his stay up north. However, he has since found his name mentioned in several trade ideas, including a number that would see him sent back to Toronto. The latest such hypothetical deal, per Bleacher Report, would allow the Raptors to reacquire him for a package led by four of their role players.
As explained by the outlet’s Zach Buckley, there have been rumors swirling around DeRozan’s future in San Antonio, with reports suggesting that he is no longer happy with the rebuilding club. While he was allegedly “furious” when he was sent to the Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard in the 2018 offseason, Buckley speculated that the shooting guard might welcome a move back to the team that selected him in the first round of the 2009 draft.
“DeRozan, a free agent after this season, isn’t competing for a championship with the Spurs, but maybe the jolt of his offense—currently yielding 21.2 points and 7.0 assists per game—would be just what the Raptors need to right the ship.”
According to the Bleacher Report writer, the hypothetical move would require the Raptors to send center Aron Baynes and reserve guards Norman Powell, Malachi Flynn, and Matt Thomas and a 2022 first-round pick to the Spurs in order to acquire DeRozan. This deal, as noted, can only be executed on February 22 at the earliest, but it could give Toronto another top-flight scorer to add to a lineup that already has Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and Kyle Lowry averaging at least 19 points and Chris Boucher and OG Anunoby averaging upward of 12.
As for the Spurs, Buckley wrote that Powell, who is producing 10.5 points per game off the bench, per Basketball-Reference, is still young enough to fit the club’s rebuilding timeline at 27 years old, although it’s possible they could also “flip” him for assets. Baynes, meanwhile, could provide additional “veteran insurance” as an inside presence as he theoretically rejoins the organization where he kicked off his career in the NBA.
Regarding the other players involved, it was suggested that Flynn — who was picked late in the first round of the 2020 draft — could be “worth developing” if the deal becomes a reality, while Thomas could be useful as a three-point specialist.
Aside from the Raptors, a few other teams have been linked to DeRozan in previous theoretical trades. These include the Miami Heat, who, as noted last month, could potentially acquire him for a package including Kendrick Nunn, Andre Iguodala, Kelly Olynyk, and a future draft pick.