Recent reports have indicated that DeRozan is unhappy in San Antonio, and this shouldn’t be any surprise. DeRozan has failed to make any sort of impact on the Spurs since they acquired him for Kawhi Leonard. In fact, it has been downhill for San Antonio since then.
DeRozan currently has a player option in his contract, meaning that he can opt in to re-sign with the Spurs or reject it to become a free agent. DeRozan will most likely become a free agent if he doesn’t want to stay with the Spurs, or if the latter don’t offer him a long-term contract.
Considering the circumstances surrounding DeRozan including poor team performances and conflicting styles of play, here are the main destinations for DeMar DeRozan.
The Miami Heat are a really good team and gave two All-Stars already in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Adding a third in the form of DeRozan would surely boost their title chances as one of the top three teams in the East. Miami has plenty of cap space since they are a team with the fourth-lowest payroll. This means that they have the means to acquire DeRozan, and also she’d the contracts they don’t desire to get him. As of 2021, the Heats payroll stands at $80,156,620.
The Heat are always looking to add star talent, and DeRozan would be a welcomed addition. DeRozan, Butler, and Adebayo would be a force on both ends of the floor especially if they manage to keep at least one of their younger talents on the squad. It seems the Heat will be gunning for DeRozan.
New York Knicks
After the Heat, the Knicks have the fifth-lowest payroll in the NBA. This isn’t surprising, considering the overall lack of any quality talent on the team. The Knicks, for some reason, have a roster full of power forwards who often do the same thing on the court. Finally, they have a chance to acquire an All-Star quality player for the first time since Carmelo Anthony.
DeRozan isn’t as good as Carmelo was with the Knicks, but he can at least give them hope as a player who currently averages 22.2 PPG. DeRozan and Randle would be a nice duo as well and could give New York some flash in order to sign someone else.
The Wolves finally paired D’Angelo Russell with Karl Anthony-Towns before the trade deadline this season. They are still a team in the process, and adding another star to that duo would give them a legitimate Big Three to contend in the playoffs with. DeRozan is a quality scorer and can also offer a solid defense, so he meshes well with Russell who loves to push the pace. Not to mention, KAT would have a second All-Star quality player to move the ball to when double-teamed.
The Wolves will have a payroll of under $100 million next season, giving them space to get rid of unwanted contracts and draft picks to acquire DeMar DeRozan. They better act fast, because even if Russell is on board, KAT may start feeling unsettled if he isn’t able to win while he is still in his prime years.
The Raptors have a little more payroll than the Heat, who will have$85,078,279 next season. With All-Star Pascal Siakam on board, the Raptors are a great destination. They use a great coach, a Finals roster, and quality veterans in Marc Gasol and Kyle Lowry. Assuming that Lowry doesn’t ask for a max contract, this gives the Raptors more room to reunite DeMar DeRozan, a fan favorite in Toronto, with Lowry and the franchise.
DeRozan would give the Raptors another scoring option to add to the ball-sharing system employed by head coach Nick Nurse. When the offense breaks down and they need a bucket, they can post up DeRozan and let him get to work. DeMar would certainly welcome a reunion with the Raptors.
The Hornets, out of all the teams on this list, have the lowest payroll. In fact, Charlotte will have the third-lowest payroll in the league in 2021, currently at $70,303,724. Since losing Kemba Walker, they failed to replace him with an All-Star and signed only Terry Rozier. Adding DeRozan would make them a better squad clearly, and his scoring and athleticism will fill fans’ seats as well.
Not to mention, Charlotte also has potential Most Improved Player- Devonte’ Graham- who can play the shooting guard position alongside Rozier and DeRozan. A high scoring trio would be great for the Hornets, who desperately need the talent to climb out the bottom of the league. DeRozan would immediately become the man on that team.