Though the 2019-20 NBA season is still in limbo, rumors have already started to circulate around veteran shooting guard DeMar DeRozan and his future with the San Antonio Spurs. Whether he opts in or out of the final year of his contract, DeRozan’s departure from the Spurs this offseason appears inevitable. If he opts in, the Spurs are expected to trade him for assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process.
“Hey, we’ve seen stranger things. The Toronto Raptors emerged as one of the most intriguing teams in 2019-20 and could carry that over to next season. In fact, they could push it a step further by adding a player like DeMar DeRozan, even if it is just for one season. If the Raptors want to emerge as a real threat in the East, they likely need to add one more ‘star.’ Even though the duo of Kyle Lowry and DeRozan may not have worked a few years ago, who’s to say that it wouldn’t work with Pascal Siakam thrown in?”
Setting aside the bad blood existing between him and Raptors President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri, it would definitely be interesting to see DeRozan play in Toronto again. Before he was ultimately sent to the Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard in the summer of 2018, DeRozan spent the first nine years of his NBA career with the Raptors and helped them become a legitimate playoff contender in the Eastern Conference.
DeRozan would undeniably love to reunite with his best friend, Kyle Lowry, who had been the most affected by his departure in 2018. The Raptors may not be considered a favorite to win the championship title right now, but compared to the Spurs, there is no doubt that they are currently in a much better situation. Though he remains hesitant to shoot the ball from beyond the arc, adding DeRozan to the Raptors’ current core of Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, and Serge Ibaka would make the Raptors a more competitive team.
If bringing DeRozan back to Toronto doesn’t produce their desired outcome, the Raptors could simply let him walk away in the summer of 2021. Compared to the previous offseason, next year’s free agency will be loaded with superstars that could help the Raptors return to title contention. Some of the top free agents in the 2021 NBA offseason include Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers.