Community Shootaround: DeMar DeRozan’s Future

The odds of the NBA finishing the full remainder of its 2019/20 regular season are essentially zero, which means the chances of the Spurs overcoming a four-game deficit in the standings and extending their playoff streak to 23 consecutive years are on life support as well. Even if the NBA is able to hold a postseason in 2020, San Antonio almost certainly won’t be a part of it, so the team may feel more pressure than usual to shake things up in the offseason.

One key storyline to watch after the season ends will be DeMar DeRozan‘s future. He holds a $27.7MM player option for the 2020/21 campaign, and with little league-wide cap room available, his best bet may be simply to pick it up. As John Hollinger of The Athletic wrote this week, the veteran guard would have a better shot at a big payday in the summer of 2021.

It’s not clear whether DeRozan is leaning in that direction though. A March 11 report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports suggested the Spurs’ leading scorer plans to opt out of his contract in the offseason if he and the team don’t agree to a contract extension. The timing of that report is important though — it surfaced mere hours before news of Rudy Gobert‘s positive coronavirus test broke and the NBA landscape was thrown into disarray.

Given all the revenue the NBA projects to lose as a result of its stoppage – and given how that lost revenue may impact the salary cap – it would make sense if DeRozan re-evaluates his position and decides that opting in and securing a $27.7MM guarantee is the right move for next season.

There are other factors in play here though. For one, we don’t know for sure how much DeRozan actually likes playing in San Antonio. During a March radio appearance on ESPN San Antonio (audio link), Jabari Young of CNBC – who previously covered the Spurs for the San Antonio Express-News and The Athletic – asserted that the 30-year-old wasn’t thrilled with his current situation.

“I don’t have to sugarcoat anything: DeMar DeRozan is not happy in San Antonio,” Young said, per Jeff Garcia of Spurs Zone. “The offense is not running as smoothly as one should think with a guy like him in the lineup. There are problems there. You have to decide if you’re going to take that money (and) come back to a situation that’s just not suitable.”

As Garcia observes, shortly after that ESPN San Antonio segment, DeRozan tweeted, “Who comes up with this s–t?” in an apparent reference to Young’s comments. Young followed up by publishing a long Twitter thread in which he highlighted his previous Spurs-related scoops and stood by his reporting.

Even if Young is right that DeRozan isn’t happy in San Antonio, the extent of that unhappiness is unclear — being frustrated with this season’s results and wanting out as soon as possible are two very different things. If DeRozan’s stance is closer to the former than the latter, he won’t be looking for an escape hatch at any cost in the offseason.

While DeRozan’s player option will give him a degree of power over whether or not he continues his career with the Spurs, the team could have a significant say too. San Antonio has typically been open to extensions for its veteran players in recent years and could go down a similar path with DeRozan, who is coming off one of the most efficient and productive offensive seasons of his career.

However, despite his impressive scoring and play-making, DeRozan remains a below-average defender. The Spurs’ 113.9 defensive rating with DeRozan on the court this season was noticeably worse than the team’s 106.7 mark when he sat. Overall, the Spurs had a negative net rating in DeRozan’s minutes and a positive rating while he was on the bench. Even if he opts in for 2020/21, perhaps San Antonio decides to make him available on the trade market in the hopes of retooling its roster and going a little younger.

What do you think? What does the future hold for DeRozan and the Spurs? Should either side be pursuing an extension? Will DeRozan pick up his player option for 2020/21? If he does, should San Antonio shop him? If he doesn’t, which teams could be fits in free agency?

Head to the comment section below to weigh in with your thoughts!

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14 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: DeMar DeRozan’s Future

  1. It’s time for the Spurs and Derozan to move on from each other.

    I think DD will opt out, Spurs will make an offer that is not Max and Demar will leave.

    Spurs would be better off with letting him go and attempting to trade LMA. Time to build around the backcourt of Murray, White and Walker, and look to add draft and young assets to the team. Adding a Saddiq Bey at 11 and starting to catch up with the rest of the NBA’s 3PT centric offenses is long overdue.

    As for where DD lands, Charlotte has cap space and could use a primary scoring option. As a second option, if Detroit decides to retool instead of rebuild, they make sense as well. That may be about it for the list of potential suitors with max/near max money though unless someone is looking to make a deal to clear cap space for him.

    • x%sure

      DDR + Spurs is not working, but that does not incentivize any team to beat the 1/$28mil.

      Toronto is said to have done better with Kawhi & Green added, but, DDR was also subtracted. Spurs got worse so that is not a winning predictor.

      DDR will likely choose between that and maybe 4/$60 mil, and take the $28mil, counting on getting a 3/$31 or better in 2021.
      He is now a forward not a guard; per BasRef, 23% a PF; so 4 more productive years is not unlikely.

      I think he’s fun to watch but I doubt his presence thrills any fan base anymore.

  2. Nebraska Tim

    DD opts out, signs for mid-level with the Raptors and becomes 6th man of the year on the way to a Toronto threepeat?

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      3peat? are you high? there’s no championship this year.

      plus that was a 1 and done thing for TOR.

      • Nebraska Tim

        I’m assuming they play the playoffs.

        I think Toronto is situated to do very well if they’re able to do this as a shorter tournament in Vegas.

        The Raptors have been hurt all year, and they’re still the 3rd best team in the league.

  3. As a spurs fan, you can’t go against what jabari young is saying. He’s been the best best reporter the spurs have had, more so then Michael c Wright, Jeff McDonald, and those dudes top notch. So I do believe him. But honestly, spurs suck with him. It just isn’t a fit, which is sad. You would think pop could work with anyone to make the team one of the best, or at least in the playoffs. And while he has been playing well, his lack of effort on defense and inability to shoot threes doesn’t work with the spurs. And that’s just the way it is.

    Honestly as a spurs fan, I kinda just wanna throw out the crazy, never gonna happen trade possibility that will never happen, him for Wiggins straight up. Both have large contracts so I don’t think anything else would have to be added. And pop has a knack of turning bad players to pretty decent, and meh players to amazing players. So even if it was just one more year with Wiggins before he retires, maybe pop could turn him into the leading man the spurs need. And for the warriors, he’s be another star to the group, bc honestly I doubt Giannes leaving the bucks, and curry Thompson don’t need the ball to play as much as derozan, who actually has been the spurs leader in assists, and can spread the floor better than the spurs could to help him play more comfortably. Just a dream scenario for a spurs fan, obviously not gonna happen.

    But the point is, it ain’t working. And it’s time to move on. And I think that’s not only speaking for derozan, but the playoff run. Spurs have been good for so long, and I’ve been blessed to watch a large portion of that time. But it’s time. The west is too strong, heck the Southwest region is too strong for us. We have no chance with this roster. And we’ve already got some nice young pieces with Lonnie, Murray, white. If we can start rebuilding now, maybe the spurs magic can speed up the process and lead the spurs back into the playoffs in two years instead of a decade like other teams who’ve been rebuilding. That’s just my thought. Time to move on.

    • El Don

      I do quite like DDR, & without a doubt he has had the 2 best seasons of his career in Texas, so really is not on him that the team is failing, apart of LMA that has played pretty badly, specially since shooting 3’s all the time, this team hasn’t got nothing at all, it is an awful team without direction or plan, no leader or system to play, if they had been so close to the play off is only thanks to the great season of DDR, the rest of the team is nothing but dross, no star dust anywhere.

  4. Simmons>Russ

    DDR probably opts in, cause knows how much he would get this offseason. No way he gets more than 28 mil in today’s market. But also agree no doubt he and the spurs aren’t a good fit anymore. So maybe he’s willing to renegotiate a contract for a sign and trade. I think best case scenario for both parties is a sign and trade.

    Maybe DDR sign and trade (3/60) plus Lonnie Walker for Buddy Heild, Harry Giles and a second round pick.

    Spurs get a young SG that is an elite shooter and the Spurs lack shooters. Heild also would pair well with Murray or White in the backcourt. Spurs also receive Giles a promising young big and a second round pick. In return the Kings get a semi star player in DDR who can help Fox lead this team to the playoffs. Kings also get Lonnie Walker as a back up young guard with good potential.

    DeMare probably would like the look of the kings because they are a playoff threat, and because it’s closer to where he was born and raised in Compton, in Cali.

    • Simmons>Russ

      Sours can then start to listen to offers for Aldridge. Maybe the Bulls.

      Aldridge and Derrick White for Otto Porter and Lauri Markeneen.

      Spurs get Porters who will opt in to his deal meaning he’s a 27mil, 1 year deal and Markeneen who gives you another shooter.

      Murray Heild Porter Markeneen Poetl
      With Mills Johnson Gay Samanic Giles Lyles

      Bulls have DWhite LaVine Aldridge Carter Jr CWhite T Young Satoransky

  5. Spurs5

    Well I think problem is coach pop, he has adapt new team and new players. Duncan era over. He needs have confidence young players, I think problem is pop playing too many young players and not seeing ful potential what they can do. He playing 10 deep and only Derozen & Aldridge getting more 30min so young guys playing limited minutes showcase they talent. Best line up to me is Murray & walker backcourt. Lonnie Walker is most talented of young players and pop needs let him play,he not small forward 6’5 that puts him sit corner shoot 3s behind Derozen, We seen his talents, he creater he needs ball his hands and he has no weakness in his offense, he can shoot 3 ,he can shoot mid range and he very creative at rim,and he finish more those as he gets stronger and get calls when he makes name for himself. Spurs have make choice if they want continue try be playoff team with Derozen & Aldridge or trade them go completely young. This summer has be biggest decision with vets,Derozen,Aldridge, Gay,Mills, who under contract till 2021. They can’t get rid all contracts that easy so they might run it back one more year with vets but Derozen long term future with spurs will be determined weather spurs continue try make playoff runs near future or start over young guys by letting Derozen go this summer.

  6. Spurs5

    I would defensely do sign and trade for DeMar Derozen if he does not want stay San antonio, you need get back assets or u lost 2 top 15 players in kawai and Derozen for nothing if he walks.And you work too hard on trade for kawai that got u Derozen then let him walk free. It would been great if spurs got what pelicans got Anthony Davis but I bet my last $1 Lakers didnt think giving up whole team kawai was worth it till he took raptors to championship. They didn’t make that same mistake when A.D wanted out New Orleans. Lakers didn’t think kawai was that good but he prove them wrong and kawai may still be spoiler blocking Lakers path NBA finals as clippers pretty Damm good. Don’t be fool Laker fans 1 game victory over clippers compare 7 game series,whole different beast

    • El Don

      You can’t compare Kawhi & AD, I mean AD is worth what the Lakers gave for him & much more, Kawhi ain’t worth half what the Lakers gave for AD, IMO Kawhi has never been in the conversation for MVP, AD has been in the last 6 years, enough said!

      • Simmons>Russ

        Debatable about MVP conversion and stuff.
        AD was worth more because he had a year left on his deal, he is still young and he is arguably the best PF and best Centre..
        Kawhi when the spurs traded him had injury issues and he just sat a year out which is super rare.
        DeRozan was a nice return for the Spurs but ever since that trade Pop hasn’t really put anymore good pieces around that team. They have lacked shooters for years and have gotten older and older

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