NBA Rumors: Spurs 'Have Not Ruled Out' DeMar DeRozan Max Contract Extension

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2019

DENVER, CO - APRIL 27: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs handles the ball against the Denver Nuggets during Game Seven of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2019 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. 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 2019 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs might try to keep DeMar DeRozan around long term.

According to Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News, the team is considering offering him a maximum contract extension:

"[Gregg] Popovich genuinely likes the group he has assembled in San Antonio, and after outsiders speculated DeMar DeRozan might be used as trade bait this offseason, all indications are that the Spurs value his presence and want to keep him around. They have not yet offered him a maximum contract extension, but they have not ruled out the possibility of doing so before the season begins, either."

Last offseason, the Toronto Raptors traded DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a first-round pick to the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. That deal led to the Raptors winning a title, while DeRozan and Co. made the playoffs but fell to the Denver Nuggets in seven games.

The 30-year-old DeRozan had a solid debut season in San Antonio, averaging 21.2 points and career highs in rebounds (6.0) and assists (6.2). He shot 48.1 percent from the field but just 15.6 percent from three on 0.6 attempts per game. The season prior, he shot 31.0 percent from three on a career-high 3.6 attempts per game.

DeRozan's mid-range game and LaMarcus Aldridge's low-post offense have represented a zig for the Spurs while the rest of the NBA zags to the tune of a more perimeter-centric, three point-heavy offensive approach. The Spurs led the league with 46.9 percent of their shots coming from mid range last season, according to Cleaning the Glass.

There are questions about the sustainability of that—and about San Antonio's ceiling if DeRozan and Aldridge are their top two players—especially given how deep the Western Conference is.

Can this duoalong with Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Rudy Gaylead the Spurs back to the postseason? More importantly, will the Spurs ever have true title aspirations with DeRozan as their top guy?

San Antonio seems unlikely to completely bottom out and undergo a full rebuild with Gregg Popovich at the helm. That may mean the team tries to re-sign DeRozan to one more big deal, either next summer if he opts out of his $27.7 million player option or following the 2020-21 campaign.