Despite the NBA residing in its annual “dead zone,” the rumor mill is still going with a flurry of whispers and reports as the season draws near.
One of the most talked-about names has been DeMar DeRozan — the 30-year-old star from San Antonio.
Though he has only been with the Spurs for a single season, his future with the franchise is already in doubt. An aging roster and outdated game will only serve to force the inevitable rebuild San Antonio has been avoiding for years.
If the above becomes reality, DeRozan could be the first to go. And, as suggested by Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz, the Heat could be the ones to answer the call.
“In their lone year together, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeRozan led the Spurs to 48 wins — just one more than the previous season when Kawhi Leonard suited up for only nine games. DeRozan should have had a far greater impact, but San Antonio was 5.0 points per 100 possessions worse with him in the game. In 2,242 minutes together, he and Aldridge posted a net rating of just plus-0.5, which is a low number for a pair of stars. Both are considered throwbacks who don’t possess reliable three-point shots, thus shrinking the court for others around them.
Enter the Heat, who traded for Jimmy Butler this summer but still shouldn’t be considered one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
Miami is a known star-hunting organization, and adding DeRozan for a moderate price seems like a move team president Pat Riley would be in favor of. It would also give the team a higher ceiling and remove Kelly Olynyk’s inflated two-year, $23.9 million deal from the books.”
The suggested deal involves sending DeRozan to Miami for Justise Winslow and Kelly Olynyk. For giving up their star, the Spurs would get pieces to help speed up the rebuild usher in a new era.
Of course, for Miami, they get a B-level star and get Olynyk’s contract off the books.
Ideally, it would be a win-win for both sides. But how valuable is DeRozan?
The biggest knock on his game has been his abysmal perimeter shooting, a skill that will have to improve if he is to keep his place among the list of NBA elites. Still, he averaged over 21 points per game last season and lead the Spurs to the postseason just a year after losing their best player.
With an environment tailored to his game and some time to adjust, he could be the guy to help get Miami over the top.