DeMar DeRozan has been one of the top shooting guards in the NBA for some time now. Since becoming an All-Star, he has been the focal point of his team’s offense for both the Raptors and the Spurs.
The Raptors utilized him in many isolation scenarios where he can take his man one-on-one, normally resulting in a bucket. The Spurs also give him space to operate whenever the offensive play breaks down. DeRozan’s strong mid-range game and excellent slashing abilities makes him an effective player even in today’s spread pick-n-roll preference around the league. DeRozan can still get you buckets, as evidenced by his 21 ppg average on 48% shooting last season.
Still, the San Antonio Spurs might look to move DeRozan for two major reasons. First, DeRozan is a max contract player in today’s NBA. It is extremely likely that the Spurs won’t be a legitimate contender this year with DeRozan as their best player (alongside LaMarcus Aldridge).
Paying DeRozan to lead this team to the promised land might not be the best move for a franchise that could be looking for a rebuild. Gregg Popovich is on his way out the door into retirement, and the Spurs might want a collection of young players and draft picks to speed up the rebuild process. At the same time, DeMar is a very iso-heavy player that thrives on the ball with everyone out of the way. At the core, this is not the Spurs preferred style of play. As a result, moving him might be the best move the Spurs can do.
Here are the five best destinations for the Spurs’ All-Star shooting guard.
Potential Trade Package: Reggie Jackson, Thon Maker, Tony Snell, and 3 future 1st Round Draft Picks
The Pistons have not been able to break through as a top team in the East, even after the trade for Blake Griffin. Griffin and Drummond have simply not been enough for the Pistons. In today’s NBA, every top team has a perimeter player that can break down the defense and score. DeRozan can provide that for a team desperate for another All-Star player.
The Spurs will collect the expiring contract of Reggie Jackson, and a young player with lots of potential in Thon Maker. Three picks will make this package particularly interesting for the Spurs to move on from DeRozan.
Portland Trail Blazers
Potential Trade Package: Kent Bazemore, Zach Collins, Anfernee Simons, Rodney Hood, and 2 future 1st Round Draft Picks
The Trail Blazers will certainly look to add a third star to form a high-scoring Big Three with DeRozan, McCollum, and Lillard. The Blazers would have a very strong starting lineup with high scoring perimeter players and bigs including Whiteside and Nurkic. Portland also wants to be in title recognition with the other top teams in the West.
The Spurs will collect two young players in Collins and Simmons, who are perfect for a rebuild. At the same time, Bazemore’s contract is expiring and will help clear the books for the Spurs. Two more draft picks will sweeten the deal for a potential blockbuster trade for the Blazers.
Potential Trade Package: Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, and a 1st Round Draft Pick
The Heat will want to add DeRozan with Butler for an excellent pairing that could push Miami to one of the top teams in the East. DeRozan and Butler will provide a high-scoring pair that would give teams fits on a nightly basis. They also want to win and will thrive under Pat Riley’s management.
The Spurs will collect two young players, Herro and Adebayo, along with Dragic who can still produce at a high level. Adebayo is one of the best up and coming centers in the entire league, and has lots of potentials that has yet to be uncovered. The Spurs will have to value both Herro and Adebayo greatly to accept this deal.
Potential Trade Package: Jonathan Isaac, Mo Bamba, Terrence Ross, and 2 future 1st Round Draft Picks
Another team looking for perimeter scoring, the Magic would do very well to get DeRozan to join their core. With Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic, DeRozan would form a promising Big Three that will continue to improve. DeRozan will give the Magic some much-needed scoring and also a go-to player when the game is on the line.
For the Spurs, they will add two excellent developing players in Isaac and Bamba, who are still very ripe at their age. They look promising, with a mix of length and athleticism. Isaac will fit seamlessly in the Spurs system, who will maximize his growth and potential. Ross adds some scoring and shooting on the perimeter, while two first-round picks assists with the Spurs’ rebuild.
Potential Trade Package: Andrew Wiggins, Robert Covington, and a future 1st Round Draft Pick
The T’Wolves will be a nice destination for DeRozan, who can play next to a developing superstar in Karl-Anthony Towns. DeRozan is a better scorer, and player, than Wiggins at this point in their careers and might be able to prime the Wolves for a playoff run. The Timberwolves have a nice collection of players, and DeRozan will fit nicely with their system.
For the Spurs, adding Covington gives them a very effective 3-and-D player who can contribute as a starter and off the bench. The real prize is in Andrew Wiggins, who has an almost unlimited ceiling. He is already a good scorer and can be an even better defender with his exceptional athleticism and physical skills. Perhaps joining the Spurs, under Popovich for the time being, would immediately improve his skill set and accelerate his growth. Wiggins is one of the best young pieces to build around at this moment, even if his maturity is not where it needs to be.