In the midst of major struggles for the Spurs, San Antonio star DeMar DeRozan has been the subject of many trade rumors.
The Spurs, 12th in the West, are struggling to keep their head above water with their two stars (DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge) leading the way. As a result, it is becoming increasingly likely that the team moves on from both in an effort to rebuild.
One potential trade partner, in an article by Bleacher Report, could be the Memphis Grizzlies — who could offer center Jonas Valanciunas and forward Jae Crowder in return.
Valanciunas’ deal isn’t onerous (only $15 million next season and $14 million the year after that), but clearing any long-term money gives Memphis more flexibility. And it might even make them more of a candidate to take on other teams’ bad contracts when combined with draft assets.
For San Antonio, this frees up time in the backcourt for developing players who, like the Grizzlies mentioned above, need on-court time to jell. Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Lonnie Walker need to play together more. DeRozan complicates that.
The Spurs get to free up room in the backcourt while also getting a solid big man to play center in the frontcourt. Valanciunas is, arguably, one of the best traditional bigs in the game.
The Grizzlies acquire some star-power in DeRozan and can use extra space in the frontcourt for developing players.
It may be a long-shot, but expect both sides to be increasingly aggressive in their pursuit of a deal as February’s trade deadline draws closer.