DeRozan is also playing out the final year of his contract, and sources said he has an interest in playing elsewhere following this season—perhaps with an eye toward the Eastern Conference. DeRozan is quietly having an exceptional season, scoring 20.3 points per game on 49.1 percent shooting and boasting a 7.5-to-1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio. “He’s transformed himself into this swing playmaker,” one team analytics staffer said.
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The San Antonio Spurs are not actively engaged in seeking out a trade for their best player, but that could change if both sides don’t work out an in-season extension leading up to the trade deadline. There is currently no dialogue on an extension, sources said.
During ESPN’s “The Jump,” reporter Marc Spears says NBA General Managers, executives and scouts are saying Southwest Division teams will be active around the trade deadline, including the San Antonio Spurs. And according to Spears, the Spurs are shopping LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan. “Another name is San Antonio, is kind of surprising” Spears said. “LaMarcus Aldridge’s name has been bandied about. Also, a little bit I’m hearing is DeMar DeRozan.”
People around the league still wonder what the Spurs will do with DeRozan, 31, and with Aldridge, 35, who will both be unrestricted free agents this coming offseason. Aldridge has been fine offensively but a total liability on defense. His effort on closeouts is abysmal.
If Poeltl could shoot jumpers, or at least free throws, he’d be the superior choice to start. Rival executives have a tough time getting a read on the Spurs, which is why they’re seldom involved in trade rumblings. Aldridge’s value is declining quickly, but any team in need of a championship boost should at least think about exploring deals for DeRozan. If the Spurs are willing to dangle DeRozan in trades, he could end up the best player available on the market.
While outsiders await a potential trade that ships out a veteran like LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan or Patty Mills, No. 11 San Antonio is optimistic that the experience its younger players gained in the bubble will make the Spurs a playoff sleeper. No. 13 New Orleans is one of the more difficult teams to assess and figures to have a puncher’s chance to reach the postseason purely based on the track record of its new coach, Stan Van Gundy, and Zion Williamson’s promising preseason. Golden State, of course, is expected to bounce back from the league’s worst record (15-50) to contend for a playoff berth — even with Klay Thompson out for the season after he tore his right Achilles’ tendon in November.
Paul Garcia: DeRozan on rumors that keep coming out that he’s not happy in San Antonio or wants out: “If something doesn’t come out of my mouth, I advise don’t believe it.”
RJ Marquez: DeMar DeRozan on decision to opt-in to final year of deal w/#Spurs: ‘Wasn’t satisfied with how we ended the season’ and ‘I’ve never run from a challenge.’ Felt team left a lot on table after leaving ORL and describe season as ‘unfinished business.’ #KSATsports #KSATnews #NBA pic.twitter.com/c3G9WCg6GJ
Dave McMenamin agreed Caldwell-Pope remaining with the Lakers is a possibility, but he also raised the point of his contract instead being used to trade for DeMar DeRozan: “I certainly don’t think this means he has one foot out the door, but it does mean he’s earned a better salary than what he was making. $8.5 million, obviously in the real world that’s a great salary, but as a high-level NBA starter who was basically the Lakers’ third-best player throughout their playoff run, he should be looking at a salary in the $12 to $14 or $15 million range. The Lakers, because they have his bird rights, can offer that to him. Or he can be an attractive sign and trade piece. Things might not be completely dead in terms of their interest in a guy like DeMar DeRozan.”
Jeff McDonald: Two things I think are simultaneously true: 1) If the Spurs can deal DeMar DeRozan for an asset or assets that helps with their rebuilding effort, they have to look at it. 2) If the “worst-case scenario” is another season of DD filling the role he did in the bubble, they’re ok with that.
Amid the trade rumors, however, DeRozan appeared on the “All the Smoke” podcast where Matt Barnes asked about the trade rumors linking him to the Lakers. DeRozan went on to explain that growing up in LA and idolizing Kobe Bryant, he used to envision himself playing for the Lakers. “You always want to be wanted. When you see things about teams wanting you, you can’t feel a type of way. You better feel good about it, because there are guys that are not wanted,” the Spurs combo guard added.
They’re also looking to unload LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan; I’ve heard the Lakers have interest in acquiring DeRozan (for Kyle Kuzma and Danny Green), and as mentioned, the Warriors may want Aldridge.
Like Hayward, DeRozan has a lucrative player option ($27.7 million) that he almost certainly pick up. Unlike Hayward, there really isn’t even a conversation to have with his team about opting out to sign a longer-term deal. The Spurs are rebuilding and DeRozan is 31, so a more likely scenario is a trade after he opts into the deal.
Kevin O’Connor: I feel like DeRozan is a guy that can end up being on the move. I’ve heard he’s been involved in some trade conversations. I wouldn’t be shocked if the rose and gets a little bit more interest in the trade market than people think is the year he just had.
On the DeRozan front, he’ll likely decide to pick up his option. The Spurs could build around him, using the team’s bubble play as a roster model or trade him, too, should he opt out. DeRozan is close with Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler, and one agent forecast a possible Spurs-Heat package.
According to Windhorst, this is because the Spurs did not make an attempt at trading assets including DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge before the deadline he told ESPN San Antonio. I heard nothing about either player being available. It’s not the Spurs style. I didn’t hear anything about them at the deadline.
Chris Haynes: San Antonio Spurs have informed DeMar DeRozan that he will not be moved, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
The San Antonio Spurs have explored trade scenarios involving LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan. The Spurs have considered “liquidating everybody” but they have also game planned trying to upgrade their existing roster. “They’ve asked for a lot from teams (for Aldridge and DeRozan),” said Adrian Wojnarowski on the Woj & Lowe Trade Deadline Special. The Spurs are “probably going to go forward” keeping Aldridge and DeRozan.
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.
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).
The Spurs have decisions to make on the futures of DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. “This is a different day for this organization,” said Adrian Wojnarowski. “They lived in a separate, parallel universe of the NBA because of the continuity they had.”
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.”
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 16, 2021 | 8:10 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: The Celtics are waiving Moe Wagner to create roster space for Jabari Parker, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium . Wagner has averaged nearly six points and three rebounds this season, and was productive in his starts in Washington prior to being traded.
April 16, 2021 | 8:06 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Free agent Jabari Parker has agreed to a deal with the Boston Celtics, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium .
Chris Bosh: Like everyone else who pays attention to basketball, I was shocked this week at the news that LaMarcus Aldridge was retiring. Over fifteen lights-out seasons in the NBA, LaMarcus became a seven-time All-Star, with a fadeaway jumper you just had to admire, even if he was draining it in your face. But he also became the kind of player you could develop a relationship with from the stands or through the TV: a big man who could run the court and put up big numbers on both sides of the ball—and never let his head get too big about it.