DeMar DeRozan was reportedly unhappy with the Spurs.
But he darned sure didn’t decline his $27,739,975 player option last offseason.
As for next offseason…
Amick and John Hollinger of The Athletic:
A source with knowledge of DeRozan’s outlook said he’ll be taking a “wide open” approach to free agency in terms of possible landing spots.
Just two or three 2021 All-Stars will be free agents – Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, Jazz guard Mike Conley and, if he opts out, Suns guard Chris Paul.
DeRozan will be one of the best players in the free agent class. He’s a standout offensive creator. He generates shots and free throws for himself off the dribble, finds teammates looks with his passing and gets opponents into the bonus by drawing fouls.
But he’ll also turn 32 before next season. He is a weak defender. His on-and-off interest in shooting 3-pointers leaves his team susceptible to poor spacing.
The amount of value he’d provide to different teams, depending on their circumstances, during his next contract could vary significantly.
DeRozan should explore the market for the first time in his career. He signed a rookie-scale extension with the Raptors then re-signed without meeting with other teams in 2016. He got traded to San Antonio.
The Spurs are approaching a crossroads. DeRozan, Patty Mills and Rudy Gay will be unrestricted free agents this summer. San Antonio already parted with LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs have a deep cast of productive and/or promising younger players: Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Keldon Johnson, Lonnie Walker, Jakob Poeltl and Devin Vassell.
Both DeRozan and San Antonio might be ready to move on – especially if the Spurs (24-24, ninth place in the Western Conference) continue to sink this season.