Community Shootaround

Community Shootaround: Play-In Pool Format

As the NBA considers how to resume its 2019/20 season, one of the many scenarios the league has discussed is a play-in pool format similar to one used by soccer’s World Cup and other international competitions. This concept was first reported over the weekend by Shams Charania of The Athletic, but Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer took a deeper dive on the idea today, observing that it has some support within the league office.

As O’Connor explains, the idea would be to bring back 20 of the league’s 30 teams — the 16 current playoff clubs and the four with the next-best records (the Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, and Spurs).

Those teams would then be split into four groups of five teams each, based on regular season records, and would play each other two times apiece. The two teams in each group with the best records after those eight games would then advance to an eight-team playoff that would look more like the NBA’s traditional second round.

According to O’Connor, a survey sent to NBA general managers about the idea noted that groups would be determined by splitting teams into five tiers based on their records, then forming groups consisting of one team from each tier. For instance, the tiers would look something like this:

  • Tier 1: Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, Clippers
  • Tier 2: Celtics, Nuggets, Jazz, Heat
  • Tier 3: Thunder, Rockets, Pacers, Sixers
  • Tier 4: Mavericks, Grizzlies, Nets, Magic
  • Tier 5: Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs

From there, groups could be determined in a couple different ways, per O’Connor. One option would be to conduct a random drawing, perhaps with measures in place to avoid having any one group of five teams become a “group of death.” Such a drawing could be televised. The other option, as O’Connor details, would be to have the four teams in the top tier draft their own groups based on preferred opponents.

Either way, the end result would be four groups of five teams, one from each tier. One group could include the Bucks, Jazz, Rockets, Nets, and Pelicans, for instance — or the Clippers, Nuggets, Sixers, Grizzlies, and Kings. Those groups would play eight round-robin games – two against each opponent – and, as noted above, the top two teams in each group would advance to a more traditional postseason. In the event of a tie in a group’s standings, the clubs’ regular-season records could potentially be used a tiebreaker, says O’Connor.

As O’Connor outlines, there are reasons why this concept would appeal to the NBA over a typical best-of-seven first round, with commissioner Adam Silver exploring experimental formats in the hopes of increasing interest in the league’s return.

A play-in pool would help generate constantly-changing, entertaining “first-round” matchups over the span of two or three weeks and would help keep casual fans entertained, avoiding locking in four or more games of a potentially one-sided first round series such as Bucks vs. Magic. And the outcome of each game would be of the utmost importance as teams jockeyed for position within their groups.

A play-in pool would also guarantee the NBA more games — eight first-round series would result in no more than 56 total games, and likely closer to 40 or 45. Having 20 teams play eight games apiece would mean 80 total contests, O’Connor notes. He acknowledges it’s not clear how those games might count toward existing agreements with the NBA’s regional or national broadcast television partners, but suggests a tweaked deal with those networks could probably be reached fairly painlessly.

Finally, a play-in pool would give fringe contenders like Portland and New Orleans the chance to extend their seasons while not requiring lottery-bound clubs like Golden State to resume play. Additionally, this format wouldn’t require those fringe teams like the Blazers and Pelicans to conduct a multi-week training camp and report to a “bubble” location (likely Orlando), only to be eliminated after a single game or two in a play-in tournament.

Still, that’s not to say that the play-in pool idea is the frontrunner at this point. O’Connor acknowledges that some Eastern Conference teams have pushed back against the idea, and ESPN’s Zach Lowe hears from sources that a number of current playoff teams weren’t “initially enthusiastic” about the idea.

The play-in pool format would also mean jumping directly to the postseason, creating financial complications. Players hoping to earn as much of their full 2019/20 salaries as possible may push back against the idea of essentially canceling the rest of the regular season. On top of that, the league’s annual playoff pool ($24MM) would have to be increased to account for additional teams and games, so the NBA and NBPA would need to figure out where that money comes from.

What do you think? Are you intrigued by the idea of a play-in pool replacing the first round for 2020, or does it sound a little too off-the-wall to seriously consider?

Head to the comment section below to share your two cents!

Community Shootaround: Most Interesting 2020 Lottery Outcome

The 2020 NBA draft lottery was initially scheduled to be held tonight in Chicago. Of course, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the lottery, the subsequent combine, and just about everything else NBA-related has been postponed indefinitely.

Still, a Monday report provided an important update on this year’s lottery: its format and process is expected to remain unchanged. That means the NBA’s three worst teams will still have the best odds to land the No. 1 overall pick, even if those teams don’t complete a full 82-game schedule and end up playing a different number of games.

It’s possible the NBA will be able to resume play this summer and complete some of the regular season games that were initially supposed to take place in March and April. However, it seems just as possible at this point that not all of the league’s 30 teams will be asked to take part in the resumption of the season.

[RELATED: 2019/20 NBA Reverse Standings]

Even in the event that bottom-feeders like the Warriors, Cavaliers, and Timberwolves do play again, the results of their final few regular season games are unlikely to significantly alter their lottery odds. So the hypothetical odds we passed along in March will probably end up being pretty similar to what the NBA uses whenever the lottery finally arrives. As a reminder, here are those tentative odds:

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
GSW 14 13.4 12.7 12 47.9
CLE 14 13.4 12.7 12 27.8 20
MIN 14 13.4 12.7 12 14.8 26 7.1
ATL 12.5 12.2 11.9 11.5 7.2 25.7 16.8 2.2
DET 10.5 10.5 10.6 10.5 2.2 19.6 26.7 8.8 0.6
NYK 9 9.2 9.4 9.6 8.6 29.6 20.6 3.8 0.2
CHI 7.5 7.8 8.1 8.5 19.7 34.1 12.9 1.3 >0
CHA 6 6.3 6.7 7.2 34.5 32.1 6.7 0.4 >0
WSH 4.5 4.8 5.2 5.7 50.7 25.9 3 0.1 >0
PHX 3 3.3 3.6 4 65.9 18.9 1.2 >0 >0
SAS 2 2.2 2.4 2.8 77.6 12.6 0.4 >0
SAC* 1.3 1.4 1.6 1.8 86.1 7.6 0.1
NOP* 1.2 1.3 1.5 1.7 92.0 2.3
POR 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.7 97.6

With those odds in mind – and in honor of the lottery that would have happened tonight – we want to get your thoughts on what the most entertaining outcomes of the 2020 NBA draft lottery would be.

While this year’s draft class lacks a surefire No. 1 pick like Zion Williamson, prospects like LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards, Onyeka Okongwu, Deni Avdija, and Obi Toppin should certainly appeal to 2020’s lottery teams, and jumping into the top four would be a big deal for some franchises in this group.

The NBA’s revamped lottery format ensures that the league’s very worst teams don’t have a huge advantage for the top picks and has created more opportunities for middle-of-the-pack lottery teams to get lucky. That’s exactly what happened a year ago — the Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Lakers (who eventually traded the No. 4 pick) moved into the top four despite ranking seventh, eighth, and 11th respectively in the lottery order. This year’s equivalent would be the Bulls and Hornets grabbing the top two picks, with the Spurs moving up to No. 4.

Teams like the Cavs, Pistons, and Knicks would more greatly benefit from landing a top pick, but there’s a chance the Warriors could end up at No. 1, despite already looking like a 2020/21 contender, with or without adding a potential future star to their roster.

Could the Wizards getting lucky and land a top rookie to add to the mix as John Wall returns? How about the Suns adding a top prospect to a core that already features Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton? Near-playoff teams like the Trail Blazers, Pelicans, and Kings, meanwhile, would become even more intriguing if they defy the odds and secure a top pick.

What do you think? Putting aside your fandom, what draft lottery outcome would be the most interesting or entertaining?

Head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!

Community Shootaround: The Last Dance

On Sunday night, ESPN aired the final two hours of The Last Dance, its 10-part documentary series that told the story of the Bulls‘ 1997/98 season, with a number of entertaining digressions along the way.

With nearly every North American professional sport on a hiatus for the time being, the Michael Jordan-centric series was well-timed. It dominated the discussion among basketball fans for five weeks while appealing to more casual viewers as well.

For older viewers, it was an opportunity to relive the Bulls’ dynasty of the 1990s while perhaps learning some new details along the way. For younger viewers who didn’t get a chance to follow Jordan in his prime, it was perhaps more illuminating, offering the opportunity to explore iconic NBA moments such as MJ’s series-winning shot over Cleveland in 1989, his rivalry with the Bad-Boy Pistons, and his return from an 18-month stint as a baseball player.

Even now that the documentary has finished airing, there are no shortage of topics to discuss. For instance, did 1998 really have to be the “last dance” for that Bulls dynasty? ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne explored this morning whether the team could have been kept intact beyond that season.

ESPN’s Royce Young, meanwhile, notes that Jordan said in the last installment of the doc that he would’ve been willing to sign up for one more year if the rest of the team’s key players were brought back too; on the other hand, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link) expresses some skepticism that Scottie Pippen would have been on board to return when he had a massive offer from Houston waiting for him in free agency.

Of course, the ongoing Jordan vs. LeBron James debate hasn’t lost any momentum in recent weeks, though an ESPN survey suggests that The Last Dance may have helped tip the scales in further in Jordan’s favor when it comes to public opinion. According to ESPN’s poll, 73% of respondents now believe Jordan is the superior overall player.

We want to know what you think. Could the Bulls have won a seventh title if they’d brought back the 1998 team, or was it the right call for that version of the club to go out on top? Did The Last Dance change – or solidify – your stance in the Jordan/LeBron debate?

Outside of those topics, we want to know what you thought about the documentary in general. What were you favorite moments or episodes? Were you surprised by anything you learned over the course of those 10 episodes? Were you disappointed by details that may have been left out? Did you think the story of Jordan and the Bulls was well told?

And, of course, do you buy Jordan’s claim that he didn’t really push off Bryon Russell in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals?

Head to the comment section below to share your thoughts on The Last Dance!

Community Shootaround: 2020’s Rookie Scale Extension Candidates

Every year, former first-round picks who are entering the fourth and final season of their rookie scale contracts become eligible to sign rookie scale extensions, which allow their teams to lock them up for multiple seasons and avoid restricted free agency.

As we detailed on Wednesday, there are 24 players who will become eligible for rookie scale extensions this year, whenever the 2020/21 league year officially begins.

In recent years, as few as four players (2017) and as many as nine (2019) have signed offseason rookie scale extensions. However, given the unusual circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s extension period could look different than usual.

Based on the uncertainty about how the NBA’s lost revenue will affect the league’s salary cap going forward, players might be more reluctant to lock themselves into long-term contracts a year before reaching restricted free agency. Conversely, a team considering offering a player a long-term extension this year will have to weigh how financially advantageous it will be to wait until 2021 to make that offer — doing so could allow the team to take advantage of its player’s modest RFA cap hold and maximize cap room that may be at a premium.

Still, it’s a safe bet that at least a handful of teams will pursue rookie scale extensions this offseason. Completing those deals early helps a team maintain a good relationship with the player and his agent, and provides that team with long-term cost certainty on one of its rising young stars.

In 2020, the players who most obviously fit that bill are Jayson Tatum (Celtics), Donovan Mitchell (Jazz), Bam Adebayo (Heat), and De’Aaron Fox (Kings). It seems likely that Boston, Utah, Miami, and Sacramento will be eager to sign those players to extensions worth the maximum salary or something very close to it.

While those four players are the most obvious extension candidates, there’s no shortage of others. John Collins (Hawks) leads the second tier, having expressed that he believes he’s max-worthy as well. Jonathan Isaac (Magic) and Lonzo Ball (Pelicans) won’t get the max, but they look like players their teams will want to build around. OG Anunoby (Raptors) and Derrick White (Spurs) are probably keepers too, though it’s possible Toronto and San Antonio will wait a year to let the RFA market set their prices.

After that, we start to get into some more challenging cases. Lauri Markkanen (Bulls), Kyle Kuzma (Lakers), and Zach Collins (Trail Blazers) could have cemented their cases for extensions this season, but Markkanen took a step back, Kuzma struggled to find his fit on the new-look Lakers, and Collins appeared in just three games before a shoulder injury derailed his season.

Luke Kennard (Pistons) would normally be a solid candidate for a new deal, but it’s not clear whether or not Detroit envisions him as a core piece or a potential trade candidate. The same goes for Jarrett Allen (Nets), who lost his starting center job before the NBA suspended its season.

We want to know what you think. Which of this year’s 24 extension-eligible players – perhaps including some of the ones we didn’t mention above – are the best bets for new deals this offseason? How do you think the NBA’s financial situation might impact those negotiations? Will we see fewer rookie scale extensions than usual or approximately the same amount?

Head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!

Community Shootaround: Buddy Hield

Just over four months ago, Kings sharpshooter Buddy Hield – upset about hardly seeing any fourth-quarter action in a pair of close losses – told reporters there were “trust issues” in Sacramento. Less than a month later, in January, he was removed from the Kings’ starting lineup in favor of Bogdan Bogdanovic. And a few weeks after that, in mid-February, a report from The Athletic suggested it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Hield requests a trade in the offseason.

It looked like a troubling series of events for the Kings, particularly since Hield had raved about establishing an “instant connection” with new head coach Luke Walton in September and signed a four-year, $86MM extension with the franchise in October. That long-term contract, which goes into effect beginning in 2020/21, was supposed to make Hield one of Sacramento’s core building blocks. An up-and-down season raised uncertainty about whether that’s still the case.

Still, there have been recent signals that any tension between Hield and the Kings may not be as bad as it looked. As we relayed earlier this week, Sam Amick of The Athletic wrote that Sacramento’s late-season surge significantly reduced the likelihood that Walton or GM Vlade Divac will be replaced before ’20/21. And it seems possible that Hield, who insisted in December that he’s a team-first who only cares about winning, will be increasingly receptive to a sixth man role if it’s helping the Kings win games.

Speaking to Amick, Walton downplayed the idea that the Hield situation was any sort of cause for concern, adding that he and the 27-year-old have a “very good relationship” and get along well.

“Buddy was not happy about not starting, but he didn’t b—h,” Walton said. “He said, ‘You’re the coach. I’m going to do what I need to do.’ … Even with Buddy (coming off the bench), he was still playing starter minutes, he was still finishing certain games, and it’s one of those things where if you’re truly bought into being on the team, you end up accepting it because that’s a huge value. … And I thought Buddy had really, really done a nice job of embracing that and making our team better.”

The Kings played their best basketball of the season with Hield coming off the bench, winning 13 of 20 contests. His per-minute production improved noticeably during that stretch as well. After averaging 20.0 PPG with a .416/.360/.816 shooting line in 44 games (34.4 MPG) as a starter, Hield recorded 19.4 PPG on .465/.476/.970 shooting in 26.6 MPG off the bench.

After clearing some future money from their cap at the trade deadline, the Kings are considered likely to re-sign Bogdanovic, an RFA-to-be who is “very good friends” with Hield, according to Walton. That means that Hield could remain in his reserve role beyond this season.

It will be a fascinating situation to watch. Hield has become one of the NBA’s very best three-point shooters and would be highly coveted on the trade market if he were made available. But his four-year commitment to Sacramento wouldn’t give him much leverage, and he may be happy to stick with the Kings if the team continues building on its second-half success, regardless of whether or not he’s starting.

What do you think? Do you expect Hield to push for a trade this offseason, or is this a non-issue, as Walton suggests? Are you bullish on the Kings’ outlook, or would you be worried about another disappointing season reigniting Hield’s frustrations? Will he be satisfied with a sixth man role, or do you expect him to reenter the starting lineup at some point?

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

Community Shootaround: Best Young Building Block

Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com asked 20 people within the NBA community, including coaches, executives, and scouts about which player they’d want to build around in the future. Each was asked to rank the following players: Zion Williamson, Luka Doncic, Ja Morant, and Trae Young.

The overwhelming majority selected Doncic, as he received 17 first-place votes and tallied the three second-place votes where he wasn’t the top choice. Morant was the top choice for two people and Williamson for just one.

“I don’t know if Luka can be any better than he is,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “He’s really good. But I think this might be who he is — which is very good.

“But Ja can get better in terms of his shooting, his team will get better around him and he makes players better around him. I think he can affect the game at both ends.”

Morant, who went No. 2 overall in the 2019 draft, getting more first-place votes than Williamson is surprising.

“Health,” said a Western Conference scout when asked why he ranked Williamson third among the four young stars. “He’d be (No. 1) otherwise.

How would you rank the four players if given the chance to start a franchise with a young star? Take to the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Community Shootaround: NBA Draft

Due to a lack of live sports action, the NFL is drawing record ratings for its annual draft.

The NBA may have to follow the NFL’s lead and hold its draft remotely, though it’s very unlikely the draft will remain in June unless the season is already canceled by that point.

There are some obvious differences between the NBA and NFL drafts in any year, particularly the way business is conducted and needs are filled. NFL teams are filling out their rosters and addressing their remaining holes after free agency, while the NBA does it the opposite way. NBA teams go into the draft not knowing which players they might acquire or lose in free agency.

When trades are made during the NBA draft, they often cannot be made an official until the following month due to contractual and salary-cap issues. NFL teams don’t have to fuss with those technicalities. Commissioner Roger Goodell can announce those trades and call out the name of the team that has acquired the pick. As we’ve often seen, NBA prospects must don the cap of the team in that draft slot, even if it’s known through the grapevine they’ve been dealt to another organization.

An advantage of holding the NBA draft before free agency in a normal year is that teams can change their strategy in free agency after the draft unfolds. For example, if a lottery team gets a starter-quality point guard in the draft, it doesn’t have to spend its free agent dollars on that position. Holding the draft before free agency is also a boon to the summer leagues and allows teams more time to get their rookies prepared for their first season.

That brings us to our question of the day: Should the NBA holds its draft after free agency, as the NFL does? Or do you prefer to leave it the way it is?

Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to your input.

Community Shootaround: Resuming The Season

Most NBA fans were eagerly awaiting this day. Prior to the hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the playoffs were supposed to begin on Saturday.

Play was halted a little over five weeks ago but it seems so much longer for basketball fans, who were looking forward to a postseason that promised to hold plenty of intrigue. The Western Conference had plenty of storylines — the Los Angeles rivalry, the Rockets’ superstar guards and small-ball approach, the up-and-comers like the Nuggets, Jazz, and Mavericks, hoping to make a statement of their own. The Eastern Conference had a clear favorite – the Bucks – but the Celtics, the defending champion Raptors, and the enigmatic Sixers had the potential to make things interesting and dash Milwaukee’s aspirations.

All of the possible plot changes have been put on hold. Unfortunately, the league is no closer to setting a date for resuming play than on the scary night when everything came to a stop. Commissioner Adam Silver told the media on Friday that there’s still no way to tell if and when the season can restart. A lot of hurdles must be cleared for teams to even begin training again.

It’s generally assumed that if games are played again this season, spectators will be prohibited. There’s also been widespread speculation that games would be conducted at a neutral site such as Las Vegas but Silver indicated that the league isn’t actively pursuing a “bubble city” plan.

Meanwhile, financial losses are piling up. “Revenues, in essence, have dropped to zero,”  Silver said.

That brings us to our question of the day: Do you believe the 2019/20 NBA season can salvaged? If so, how will the league be able to pull it off and still ensure the safety of all involved?

Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to your input.

Community Shootaround: NBA’s Best H-O-R-S-E Player

The NBA’s H-O-R-S-E competition will begin tomorrow, but not with the field that fans were probably hoping for when the project was first discussed.

The eight-person tournament will include just four current NBA players, Thunder guard Chris PaulHawks guard Trae Young, Bulls guard Zach LaVine and Jazz guard Mike Conley. The field will be rounded out by a pair of retired players, Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce, along with three-time WNBA All-Star Allie Quigley and newly-elected Hall-of-Famer Tamika Catchings.

The talent pool is understandable given the restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus. All the participants will be shooting on their home courts, either indoors or outdoors. Many active players don’t have access to courts with training facilities being shut down, and fears of transmitting the virus make it impossible to bring the competitors together in one location.

Oddsmakers have installed Young and Paul as the favorites, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman, who notes that Young has 2/1 odds to win the tournament, while Paul is 5/2. They are trailed by Conley (3/1), Pierce (4/1), LaVine (5/1), Billups (6/1), Quigley (8/1) and Catchings (10/1).

The competition will follow traditional rules of the popular playground game. A coin toss will determine who goes first, and each player must describe the shot before shooting. Dunking won’t be allowed.

The tournament will raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts and will provide the first glimpse of live basketball on television in more than a month. However, it won’t answer the question of who’s really the best H-O-R-S-E player in the NBA.

Once the league gets back to normal, we’d like to see an expanded version, maybe involving a representative from each of the league’s 30 teams. Imagine a tournament with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Damian Lillard and other stars competing under the same format.

We want to get your input. Who do you think has the best array of shots to win a league-wide H-O-R-S-E tournament? Please leave your answer in the space below.

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!