The San Antonio Spurs are now back home, away from the NBA bubble, and in rest and recovery mode. After going 5-3 during the NBA’s restart games, the team just missed out on getting into a play-in game for a shot at the playoffs. That said, the offseason will include some big decisions. Among them will be whatever contract decision DeMar DeRozan makes, as it will impact the Spurs’ future.
DeMar DeRozan to Decide on Testing Free Agency
For DeMar DeRozan, the big decision hinges on whether or not he picks up the player option in his contract which is worth $27.7 million. Per a tweet from Shams Charnia back in June, he’s among five top players who have to make that choice sometime in mid-October. Others include the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, Boston Celtics’ Gordon Hayward, and Cleveland Cavaliers’ Andre Drummond.
This past March, Chris Haynes reported that DeRozan would not pick up his player option if he and the Spurs couldn’t reach an agreement on a contract extension. However, DeRozan reacted to that report soon after, downplaying it. Per mySanAntonio.com the Spurs forward said, “Who reported it? Did my Mama say it? Don’t listen to it then.”
Should DeRozan and other players from the above list decide not to pick up their player options, then they’ll be part of the free agency pursuit that begins just a day later.
The good news is the San Antonio Spurs are one of a handful of teams that could offer DeRozan enough money to sign the type of deal the four-time All-Star wants. He may also feel that playing underneath Gregg Popovich is his best move due to the coach’s ability to guide his talent to success.
Four Teams Mentioned as Possible DeRozan Destinations
In a recent report from NBA Canada’s Scott Rafferty, it’s mentioned that there are four other teams that make sense for DeMar Derozan. That’s due to the fact that like the Spurs, they’ll have the salary cap space available to sign him. They include the Charlotte Hornets, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, and New York Knicks.
Of those destinations, only the Denver Nuggets are amongst strong playoff contenders, right now. They’re amongst the eight Western Conference teams at the NBA bubble participating in the playoffs. Denver holds the No. 3 seed in the conference and has plenty of rising talent along with current stars like Jamal Murray and Nikola Jovic. Adding DeRozan would be an interesting move considering all the talent unless Denver made a trade too.
The Detroit Pistons were recent playoff contenders, but seem to continue to rebuild. The same goes for both the Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks, as far as rebuilding goes. Both teams have been amongst the NBA Draft lottery teams for several seasons now, in search of future talent to bring them success.
DeRozan opting to become a free agent and sign with New York could make sense. It’s a big market NBA team. He could become the top scorer for a franchise with fans desperate to see its team return to playoff glory. However, it brings plenty of pressure and scrutiny from the media and those fans, who can be unforgiving at times. Even so, it’s an attractive situation where DeRozan could gain more recognition and status in his career.
San Antonio Spurs fans are hoping that DeMar DeRozan is able to stay with the Spurs heading into the 2020-21 season, but most likely the four-time All-Star is going to make the decision that is best for his career.
With that said, the San Antonio Spurs have a relatively high draft pick a day before DeRozan’s decision is due. Will they opt to choose someone who could become a younger replacement for the position?