The Spurs stumbled out to a 7-13 start, and their current playoff streak of 22 consecutive appearances is officially in jeopardy.
DeRozan has a player option for the 2020-21 season, but he might be one of San Antonio’s most valuable–and expendable–assets as they hope to get back on track.
The Detroit Pistons are among the teams rumored to be interested in DeRozan. Detroit has also faltered early in the year and are in desperate need of scoring as they look to build on last season’s playoff appearance.
But acquiring DeRozan would probably do the Pistons more harm than good.
No floor spacing
On the surface, DeRozan seems like a natural fit in Detroit. He could immediately slot into the rotation as the starting small forward, and he would certainly give the Pistons another offensive option
However, he would also destroy Detroit’s floor spacing. DeRozan is strictly a slasher and mid-range shooter. He attempted just 45 three-pointers last season and has attempted just four threes so far this year.
The Pistons need to find a way to center their offensive balance around Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. Luke Kennard has developed as a nice perimeter threat, and both Langston Galloway and Tony Snell–while not exactly prolific scorers–are having success from outside.
One could argue that DeRozan might give Griffin more room to roam the perimeter, but Griffin is not having nearly the same level of success shooting the ball as he did last year.
Until he finds his stroke, the Pistons need to run actions that get him looks closer to the basket. If DeRozan is also on the floor, things will get crowded, which could also impact Drummond’s efficiency.
DeRozan also does next to nothing to improve Detroit’s team defense, and they have already struggled in that department early in the season.
If the Pistons trade for DeRozan, they run the risk of him accepting his massive player option for next season. That would handicap their efforts to make any tangible moves in free agency.
Drummond and Snell could both accept their own player options next season. Between those two, Griffin and DeRozan, the Pistons would already owe four players north of $100 million. How sustainable is that in building their long-term success?
Detroit already sought to trade Galloway prior to the start of the season in order to shed some salary and create some room for the future. So why would they trade DeRozan when he would probably have a minimal impact on this year’s roster while also possibly eating away at the cap room for next year?
Perhaps the Pistons feel the need to make a splash out of desperation. But acquiring DeRozan would likely leave them in a rather untenable situation moving forward.