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NBA exec says Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan not a max player, best suited to be a ‘third option’

DeMar DeRozan, Spurs

San Antonio Spurs shooting guard DeMar DeRozan can become an unrestricted free agent next summer if he declines his 2020-21 player option.

The prevailing thought is that DeRozan will decline that player option so he can cash in on a major payday on the open market.

However, one NBA executive who spoke to Bobby Marks of ESPN doesn’t think DeRozan is going to get max money:

The big question will be what to do with DeRozan. He will be one of the top free agents in 2020 if he does not opt in. However, unless Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland or Memphis is willing to pay up, the market for the former All-Star could be dry. As one league executive told ESPN, “I like DeRozan as my third option, and those type of players are not earning near max-type money.”

DeRozan is making $27.7 million this season. There has been talk that the Spurs could trade the All-Star before the February trade deadline if San Antonio doesn’t start winning and climbing up the Western Conference standings.

After losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers at home on Thursday, the Spurs dropped to 9-15 on the season. They are in the 12th spot in the Western Conference standings.

DeRozan is averaging 21.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game on the season. He’s shooting 50.6 percent from the field and 80.3 percent from the free-throw line.