NBA rumors: Spurs undecided about trading Aldridge, DeRozan

More on DeMar DeRozan Trade?

Aldridge, who has been on a recent roll from three-point range (20 for his last 40), would appear to be the far more logical target because the Heat could use another skilled, accomplished power rotation player. An informed source said the Spurs would want more than simply an injured Winslow and Derrick Jones Jr. and expiring contracts. Kendrick Nunn could entice the Spurs, but whether Miami would be willing is another story.
The Spurs (16-20; eighth in the West) have been exploring the market for DeRozan, but a source with knowledge of his situation is quick to point out that the free-agent-to-be has a significant influence on the situation here too. DeRozan, who has a $27.7 million player option for next season, will have the freedom to walk this summer if he doesn’t like his next landing spot. It’s tough to find serious takers when you know the guy might skip town in just a few months. Meanwhile, there remains the possibility that he could sign an extension to remain in San Antonio (I reported in October that the sides were far apart, but those talks aren’t dead). With the Spurs somehow still in position to set a new NBA record by securing their 23rd consecutive playoff berth, DeRozan is leading the team in scoring (21.7 points per game) and assists (4.9 per).
DeMar DeRozan’s name pops up often in possible trade talks with the Magic. DeRozan is owed $27.7 million next season, though it’s a player option. The Spurs don’t normally make in-season trades, but given where they are, this might be the time to move DeRozan. It’s a new era in San Antonio. R.C. Buford has turned over operations to new general manager Brian Wright, who is running the show and thinking about the future for a franchise that has been a playoff mainstay for two-plus decades.
The big question will be what to do with DeRozan. He will be one of the top free agents in 2020 if he does not opt in. However, unless Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland or Memphis is willing to pay up, the market for the former All-Star could be dry. As one league executive told ESPN, "I like DeRozan as my third option, and those type of players are not earning near max-type money."
According to various reports, players like Dennis Schroeder, DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love could be made available via trade by their respective teams. The Knicks, per a source, are keeping their 'eye on a lot of players' as we enter trade season.
And, for what it’s worth, Orlando has reportedly expressed some interest in DeRozan. One of the executives who spoke to HoopsHype said that they’ve also heard the DeRozan-to-Orlando rumblings, while another mentioned both the Magic and the Sacramento Kings as sensible suitors for the All-Star 2-guard: “A landing spot for DeRozan is probably a team that badly wants to make the playoffs and, right now, they’re in the 7-to-10 range in their conference. The Magic, the Kings and other teams like that would make sense. What the Spurs could get back really depends on if they’re willing to take back money in the deal.”
That same Western Conference exec shared the following on how teams view DeRozan’s deal: “With a player option next year, the team that’s trading for him has to be comfortable with him potentially leaving a couple months later, or having to re-sign him to a new long-term deal. Maybe this turns into an opt-in-and-trade scenario, so there’s more security for the team and they know what they’re trading for contractually.”

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This is a team at a crossroads. Despite the fact that he has performed ably since arriving in Texas from Canada, DeRozan might not be in town for that much longer. He could even be traded ahead of the deadline. DeRozan can become a free agent in 2020 by declining his $27.7 million player option; he was far apart from the team on extension talks before the season, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick. The Spurs could always deal him sooner rather than let him walk for nothing. Multiple league sources say the Magic are scouring the trade market for scoring help and have already expressed interest in trading for DeRozan.
Even with this selection, there are no guarantees DeRozan, the longest-serving Raptor after having been drafted ninth overall in 2009 by Bryan Colangelo, is back with the team next season. Masai Ujiri fired Dwane Casey and is not expected to limit his shakeup to only one move. Of course there’s a better chance DeRozan does return, but Toronto will explore all options, per multiple league sources.
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April 23, 2021 | 2:18 am EDT Update
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