Spurs’ DeRozan To Opt Out If Not Extended?

Spurs swingman DeMar DeRozan intends to opt out of his contract this summer if he and the team don’t reach a contract extension by the end of June, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

DeRozan, whose player option for 2020/21 is worth $27,739,975, must make a decision on that extension by June 29, per Basketball Insiders. DeRozan and the Spurs have until June 30 to agree to terms on a veteran contract extension.

DeRozan is having one of the best years of his NBA career, averaging 22.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 5.6 APG in 61 games (34.3 MPG). His .526 FG% is easily a career high. However, there are a few factors working against him as he nears potential free agency.

Among those factors: DeRozan will be entering his age-31 season in the fall; his mid-range game is out of sync with most teams’ offensive approaches; and he and LaMarcus Aldridge appear unlikely to lead the Spurs to a playoff spot this spring. On top of that, San Antonio has actually been better without DeRozan on the court (+1.0 net rating) than when he plays (-2.7).

This year’s league-wide salary cap situation is also a point in favor of DeRozan picking up his option. Only a handful of teams will have significant cap room available, and most of those clubs are in the process of rebuilding, reducing the odds that they’ll want to invest heavily in a veteran player like DeRozan.

Still, it’s possible this offseason will represent DeRozan’s best chance at one last lucrative long-term deal — he could comfortably exceed the amount of that $27.7MM option on a multiyear contract, even if he doesn’t match that salary in ’20/21. If he doesn’t reach an extension with the Spurs and opts out, that wouldn’t close the door on a possible return to San Antonio, according to Haynes, who adds that the Knicks are among the teams expected to be interested in the former ninth overall pick. A sign-and-trade to an over-the-cap club could also be an option for DeRozan.

If DeRozan doesn’t sign an extension with the Spurs, I imagine he wouldn’t opt out unless he has a solid Plan B lined up, like Al Horford did last June when he declined his $30MM+ player option with Boston. For his part, the Spurs’ leading scorer downplayed Haynes’ report when he was asked about it on Tuesday night, as Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio-Express News writes.

“Who reported it? Did my Mama say it?,” DeRozan said. “Don’t listen to it then.”

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11 thoughts on “Spurs’ DeRozan To Opt Out If Not Extended?

  1. rxbrgr

    Hey Luke, are there limits on how much an extension can decrease a player’s new salary? I know they typically limit pay decreases year to year and that renegotiations can only drop by 40%, but are there any rules for extensions adding new money at a much lower annual salary?

    • Luke Adams

      I don’t believe there are. I’ve never been able to find any source that explicitly says this, but I’ve also never found any rules that prohibit major drops on extensions.

      The one case I remember that reflects the apparent lack of restrictions is Zach Randolph signing an extension in 2015 that reduced his salary from $16,500,000 in one season to $9,638,555 the next season.

  2. amk3510

    The Spurs really could have had Ingram, Ball and picks for Kawhi 2 summers ago. Huge mistake letting their hate of the Lakers cloud theor judgment

    • specialfriedrice

      They didn’t want to deal him directly to a rival.
      As noted in multiple articles at the time, Pop wanted a proven 20ppg veteran
      Criticism is easy with Hindsight…

      • phillyballers

        There was no reason to believe that the Spurs would have been so inept last year too. The trade obviously hasn’t worked out well for them. Best thing the Spurs can hope for is DeMar opts-in and they can trade him and Aldridge and reset the table.

  3. HoopsR

    They didn’t want to trade their best player to a western rival. I doubt hate had anything to do with it.

    • El Don

      Well he ended in a western rival anyway, so how did that work out for them?
      I mean once they traded him, anywhere, & got anything for him they were never gonna compete anyway, so go for the best package.
      They screwed big time by not taking the Lakers offer, so many excuses can be said but reality is they did harm their franchise for many years to come.

  4. Today is a new day and…..Maybe DeMar doesn’t opt out of that guaranteed money now.

  5. I struggle to see where he gets that next big pay. 28M is a lot to pass up when you’re next deal will start in mid-teens.

    As a spurs fan, I really like DeMar the person, but it’s (last) time to turn the page.

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