The San Antonio Spurs mostly opted to keep the status quo going in terms of roster configuration this NBA offseason. The team did not end up moving on from DeMar DeRozan or LaMarcus Aldridge despite both players now being on expiring contract. Could this present an opportunity for some teams to angle for a potential trade?
For the first time in 22 seasons, the Spurs missed the NBA playoffs. The last time this happened, Microsoft became the world’s richest company, Titanic was the No. 1 movie in America, and gas was $1.22 per gallon. Life was way different then than it is now and just goes to show how impressive this run by the San Antonio Spurs organization was. For a solid two decades, they were one of the most dominant franchises in all of the professional sports.
Every win streak and postseason run ultimately comes to an end and in a year where the unexpected becomes reality, this is yet another chapter of how cruel 2020 can be. The Spurs organization as a whole though is not in a tough position at all. They do have aging veterans such as Rudy Gay and LaMarcus Aldridge, but they also have a lot of solid young players like Dejounte Murray and Derrick White who will be some of the core players for the Spurs moving forward.
And then there is DeMar DeRozan who came to San Antonio before the start of the 2018-19 season in a trade that sent Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Toronto Raptors. This was a shocking move as not only was Leonard traded by the Spurs, but the Raptors gave up DeRozan, who was beloved by the entire organization and fan base. Toronto ultimately went on to win the 2019 NBA Finals, the franchise’s first NBA title, leaving DeRozan with a lot of question marks surrounding the remainder of his career.
DeMar DeRozan is entering the final year of his contract and is owed $27.7M this upcoming season, but the question remains if he will be packing his bags and moving elsewhere to continue his career. He does not seem to be in the Spurs long-term plans at this point, as San Antonio looks to get younger and rebuild their core, and is still a player that holds a high-value on the trade market.
Last season, DeRozan averaged 22.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists and shot 53.1% from the floor. He has one of the better mid-range games off-the-dribble in the NBA and can still be one of the better players on any team in the league. He may not be the All-Star he once was, but could be like Kawhi Leonard was to Toronto in the sense of coming in and being the x-factor for a team’s chances at winning a title.
If the Spurs do decide to move on from DeMar DeRozan and unload his contract, these are the three contenders who should pursue him.