DeMar DeRozan Trade Rumors: Magic Have 'Expressed Interest' in Spurs Star

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2019

San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan (10) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, in San Antonio, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The Orlando Magic have reportedly "expressed interest" in a trade for San Antonio Spurs shooting guard DeMar DeRozan as they attempt to bolster their last-ranked offense.

Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported Wednesday that "it would surprise none of the front-office executives" he spoke with if the Spurs opt to move DeRozan.

There are a couple of factors that suggest San Antonio would at least consider offers for the four-time All-Star before the February trade deadline.

DeRozan can utilize a player option in his five-year, $139 million contract to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2019-20 season. The Spurs in the post-Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili era don't have the star power and depth to lose a player of DeRozan's caliber without getting anything in return.

In October, Sam Amick of The Athletic reported the sides were "quite a ways apart" in extension talks.

The Spurs also feature promising youth in the backcourt. Derrick White, Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes and Lonnie Walker IV comprise a high-upside group that pairs with veterans Patty Mills and Marco Belinelli. Rudy Gay can also play on the wing, though without DeRozan, they'd likely use a lot of three-guard looks like they do with DeRozan.

San Antonio is in a difficult spot because it has enough talent to compete for a playoff berth, even in the loaded Western Conference, but it's not in a position to seriously contend for a championship given its lack of elite players in a league dominated by them, especially in the postseason.

So moving DeRozan, whose future with the franchise is uncertain even without a trade, would make sense. The Spurs could acquire pieces for the future without giving up on this season since they'd still have no shortage of options in the backcourt and on the wing.

Meanwhile, the Magic rank first in points allowed per game (99.3) and sixth in opponents' shooting percentage (43.1 percent), but their struggling offense (98.1 PPG, 30th; 41.9 FG%, 29th) has resulted in a 3-7 start.

DeRozan would become the go-to scorer on a roster with plenty of frontcourt depth but a limited number of reliable guard and wing contributors. The shooting struggles of Terrence Ross (32.5 percent) have amplified the need for more firepower alongside Evan Fournier.

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