The San Antonio Spurs have reportedly put DeMar DeRozan on the trading block just one season after acquiring him from the Toronto Raptors. The four-time All-Star averaged 21.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 6.2 assists. He helped the team secure the seventh spot in the Western Conference but was unable to lead them past the second-seed Denver Nuggets despite the fact that they forced the series to go full-seven.
Now it seems that the Spurs are ready to move on from DeRozan, and they’re really not asking for something big in return. According to reports, San Antonio wants to have some cap relief by trading the veteran guard, who is owed #27.7 million next season. In addition, DeRozan has a player option for the 2020-21 season, and if he opts out of it, the team will lose him for nothing.
The Spurs don’t seem to be in a win-now mode and judging by the looks of it, they are slowly but surely heading into the rebuild route. They still have LaMarcus Aldridge on the team, but it is unlikely for him to lead this team to a title this anytime soon.
But what exactly can the Spurs get if they trade DeMar, and who are the teams that they should negotiate with if they are planning to get some valuable assets?
Let’s look at some of their options.
3. Dallas Mavericks
Spurs get; Tim Hardaway Jr., Justin Jackson, future pick(s)
Mavs get; DeMar DeRozan
The Spurs are trading DeRozan primarily for cap relief, but let’s face it. It will be difficult to do without absorbing a bad contract from another team. However, securing a deal with the Mavericks is something that they might want to consider.
In this scenario, the Spurs will send DeRozan to the Mavs in a deal that involves Tim Hardaway Jr. The veteran guard averaged a career-best 18 points per game last season; decent enough for someone who’s getting paid around $17 million over the next three years. San Antonio can actually do a straight-swap here, but it’s safe to say that they will try to get picks or a young prospect in the trade as well, which is why Justin Jackson has been included.
Jackson only averaged 7.2 points and 2.6 rebounds last season but it is worth noting that he is just about to enter his third year in the league. If the Spurs believe that they can develop him into another great player like the way they did with Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker IV, then they will absolutely benefit this trade in the long run.
Sure, the Spurs will be making their long-time Texas rivals stronger by giving them DeRozan, but again, they are rebuilding and trying to be competitive at the same time.
This deal is more about their success beyond this season, as they prepare for the looming retirement of head coach Gregg Popovich.
2. Indiana Pacers
Spurs get; Boban Bogdanovic (via sign and trade), Doug McDermott, future pick(s)
Pacers get; DeMar DeRozan
There have been reports that the Spurs will be looking to sign Pacers’ Boban Bogdanovic this summer. However, if they will be able to get him while also successfully unloading DeRozan’s contract, that would be a great deal for San Antonio.
Bogdanovic will be a part of the Spurs’ long-term deal if they will be able to sign or trade for him. The Serbian guard averaged 18 points on close to 50 percent shooting last season. And for someone to do that at 30 years old? That’s pretty impressive.
Now, this trade will work for the Pacers as well because of the fact that they will need someone like DeRozan to pair with Victor Oladipo, who will make his return from injury sometime next season, in order for them to get past the first round of the playoffs.
Not only will Indy get a bonafide All-Star, but they will also be able to give Dipo some well-deserved help on the offensive end.
1. Orlando Magic
Magic get; DeMar DeRozan
The Spurs want cap space; they will get cap space.
By unloading DeRozan, San Antonio will get veteran guard Evan Fournier, who averaged 15 points, three rebounds, and three assists last season. In terms of value, they are at a disadvantage. Moreover, for this deal to happen, they will have to absorb the contract of Timofey Mozgov, which is worth $16 million next season.
So how do the Spurs win this trade? Well, they get a decent shooting guard in Fournier while also being able to get an expiring contract. If they can convince Mozgov to a buyout, then things will be even better for the franchise.
This deal might not have a significant impact on the Spurs this season, but it will definitely help them in the next, as they will have some money to spend in the 2020 free agency.
As for the Magic, they will get DeRozan, a guy who can help them get better. What more can they ask for?
DeRozan is a great player, but it is clear, from the moment that the Raptors traded him, that he’s not someone who can lead the team to a championship. And for an organization like the Spurs, winning matter. That’s how they’ve built their reputation. That’s how they’ve managed to create their identity.
So if DeMar can’t help them win, then he has no place in the black and silver franchise.
But maybe he can be utilized more effectively somewhere else.