After decades of unprescedented success, the and has come for the Spurs -- at least, the end of their current regime.
In acquiring DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs were hoping to build a roster that could compete even without the presence of Kawhi Leonard.
Last night's loss to the lowly Atlanta Haws made things clear: their current roster would not be enough to compete this season. And for the first time in years, the Spurs face the threat of missing the playoffs.
In light of this reality, their two stars (DeRozan and Aldridge) have become some of the premier names on the trade block and it seems likely that one or both of them could be on another team before the trade deadline. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat have emerged as the biggest contenders for both.
A source in contact with the Spurs said San Antonio hasn’t decided what to do regarding LaMarcus Aldridge and Demar DeRozan but that it views the Heat as a potential trade partner if it decides to make a move with either one.
Though there’s no indication of any aggressive Heat pursuit of either at this time, one source said Heat/Spurs contact was expected, if it hasn’t happened already. Pat Riley previously pursued both players when they were free agents and both have deals with only one more full season.
The Miami Heat are among the best teams in the East this season. With Ban Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, and Kendrick Nun, the team is poised to be good for a long time.
It's hard to tell where DeRozan or Aldridge would fit into the equation, but either one is capable of bolstering an already electric offense. With a package of young players and picks, it could be enough to get a deal done.
Expect Pat Riley to consider every option ahead of February's deadline.