Spurs' Updated Roster, Draft Picks After DeMar DeRozan Sign-and-Trade with Bulls

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 3, 2021

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: Dejounte Murray #5 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the game against the New York Knicks on May 13, 2021 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls reportedly agreed to a sign-and-trade deal on Tuesday that will send DeRozan to Chicago on a three-year, $85 million contract, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

The deal sends Thaddeus Young, Al-Farouq Aminu, a conditional 2025 first-round pick, the Los Angeles Lakers' 2022 second-round pick and Chicago's 2025 second-rounder back to San Antonio.

In essence, the Spurs got some nice draft assets and two expiring contracts for facilitating DeRozan's move to Chicago. Not a bad bit of business. 

So, what does the potential roster look like after the deal?   

  • PG: Dejounte Murray / Tre Jones
  • SG: Derrick White / Lonnie Walker IV / Devin Vassell / Josh Primo
  • SF: Keldon Johnson / Doug McDermott / Keita Bates-Diop (restricted free agent)
  • PF: Thaddeus Young / Al-Farouq Aminu / Drew Eubanks / Luka Samanic
  • C: Jakob Poeltl / Zach Collins

As for future picks, the Spurs have all of their own first- and second-round picks through 2028 except for 2022's second-rounder, along with the picks they reportedly acquired on Tuesday, per RealGM

The Spurs have the makings of a nice young core around Murray, White, Johnson, Vassell and Walker, among others. They aren't a team that will be making title noise any time soon—and it seems unlikely this core will ever have that type of upside—but they should be in the hunt for a play-in berth this campaign. 

Losing DeRozan and his 21.6 points per game last season may not hurt as much as you'd think. The Spurs actually had a net rating of minus-2.5 with DeRozan on the court last year—put another way, they were 2.5 points worse than their opposition per 100 possessions—and had just a minus-0.2 rating when he sat, per NBA.com.

Contrast that to Murray (plus-2.3 net rating on the court, minus-6.5 off it) or White (plus-5.1 on court, minus-4.3 off court), and there's an argument to be made that the Spurs will be better off building around their young players. 

That isn't to disparage DeRozan's ability to consistently get 20 points per night while shooting 49.5 percent from the field. But his inability to be a major factor from the perimeter in the age of floor-spacing (25.7 percent from three) and his mediocre defense hurt his overall impact. 

Another factor to consider when evaluating the Spurs is that, as it stands, they should have a ton of salary-cap flexibility next offseason. Some of that may go toward retaining Walker and Johnson when they hit restricted free agency. But if a player like, say, Bradley Beal (player option) hits the market, the Spurs should at least have the cap space to offer him the max. 

So for San Antonio, it's all eyes on the future. The Spurs will be a solid team in 2021-22, but the storyline is all about what they're building toward.