DeMar DeRozan: 'Don't Believe' Rumors of Unhappiness with Spurs, Trade Request

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2020

San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan reacts in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan downplayed rumors he's unhappy with the organization and wanted a trade during the 2020 NBA offseason.

"If something doesn't come out of my mouth, I advise don't believe it," DeRozan told reporters Saturday.

In October, an unnamed NBA agent told The Athletic the four-time All-Star wanted out of San Antonio.

"DeMar doesn't like San Antonio and doesn't want to be there. If those guys leave, they land with Dwane Casey in Detroit. That relationship with the former coach is strong," the agent said about DeRozan and Fred VanVleet, who ultimately re-signed with the Toronto Raptors.

His name was also linked to a possible trade with the Los Angles Lakers that would have sent Danny Green and Kyle Kuzma back to the Spurs, per Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer (via CBS Sports' Brad Botkin).

That deal never materialized despite an active offseason for the reigning champion Lakers, and the Spurs haven't made a major splash after speculation about a potential overhaul that would have also included the departures of other veterans like LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills.

DeRozan picked up a player option in his contract for the 2020-21 season to stay in San Antonio, but that was more of a formality since he would have struggled to match the $27.7 million he'll receive from the Spurs on the free-agent market.

It'll be interesting to see whether San Antonio is one of the more active teams heading into the 2021 trade deadline if it's not trending toward a playoff berth. DeRozan, Aldridge, Mills, Rudy Gay, Trey Lyles and Tyler Zeller are all set to become unrestricted free agents at season's end.

A youth movement is likely on the horizon for the Spurs one way or another. Getting some assets to help in the team's first rebuilding effort in decades would be helpful.

That said, it doesn't sound like DeRozan is trying to force his way out and is on track to open the campaign in San Antonio. The team tips off the regular season Dec. 23 against the Memphis Grizzlies.