DeMar DeRozan Rumors: Spurs Could Seek Trade with 'No Dialogue' on New Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2021

San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan (10) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in San Antonio, Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

DeMar DeRozan will be a free agent after the 2020-21 season and could find himself on the trade market ahead of the NBA's March 25 trade deadline. 

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the 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."

Haynes added that there is "currently no dialogue on an extension."

DeRozan, 31, is currently leading San Antonio in scoring (20.3 PPG) and assists (7.3 APG) while adding 4.7 rebounds and a steal per game. He's shooting 49 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from three. 

While he's been solid offensively, there's little doubt that the Spurs are slowly moving toward a core built around younger players like Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Keldon Johnson and Lonnie Walker IV.

Interestingly, the Spurs have a -2.1 net rating when DeRozan is on the floor compared to a +1.3 net rating when he sits, per NBA.com. That comes down mostly to defense—the team's offensive rating with DeRozan playing is 111.4 but drops to 104.0 when he rests. 

A changing of the guard is happening in San Antonio. The team has already decided to part ways with veteran big man LaMarcus Aldridge, and it wouldn't be shocking to see the team try to gather assets for DeRozan before the trade deadline.  

One interesting subplot, however, is that the Spurs have been pretty good this season. At 19-16, they would be the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference if the playoffs started today. Trading DeRozan, save in exchange for another established star, wouldn't necessarily make them better, especially on the offensive end. 

But the alternative is the possibility of losing him for nothing in free agency over the summer. It will be an interesting decision for the organization, and one that could have postseason implications for the lower seeds in the loaded Western Conference.