Though free agency is still over a month away on August 2, we can start preparing for the offseason by looking back at the San Antonio Spurs‘ own free agents this upcoming offseason. We’ll look back at how each player played this past season and what type of deal they’re projected to get in free agency.
Let’s begin first with DeMar DeRozan, the Spurs’ go-to playmaker.
This Past Season
DeRozan just completed his 12th NBA season and his third in a Spurs uniform. He was the Spurs’ leading playmaker not just in scoring the basketball and getting the free throw line, but also in creating for his teammates with a team-high 6.9 assists per game.
DeRozan’s shot selection doesn’t match that of modern-day wing players. Rather than going for the three, then attacking the basket, DeRozan took most of his shots from the mid-range, non-restricted area (floater range), then the restricted area, and finally the 3-point line.
Because of his ability to drive the ball (18.2 drives per game – one of the top free agents in drives), DeRozan was able to create opportunities to drive in against the defense and kick out to shooters or get himself to the free throw line.
Off the ball is where DeRozan’s shot selection can hurt the team, with his limited number of 3-point attempts and his 26% accuracy from the three-point line when he did take 3s. The Spurs were a bottom-10 team in 3-point attempts and accuracy, and their usual starting lineup had four of five players who the 3-point shot wasn’t their main shot in DeRozan, Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, and Jakob Poeltl.
On the defensive end, opponents outscored the Spurs by 3.5 points per 100 possessions with DeRozan on the floor, and while he wasn’t one of the top players on defense in most metrics, he’s active off the ball with his deflections, where he tallied 1.6 deflections per game, which was third on the team behind only Murray and Derrick White.
According to ProFitX, a projected new contract this offseason for DeRozan is around $30.3 million annually, with a low of $25.9 million and a high of $34.9 million. DeRozan will be turning 32 in August.
ProFitX is a dynamic financial and performance index powered by Artificial Intelligence with front-office optics displaying 17 visual and time-series models for 480-plus NBA athletes. The Athledex models historical, dynamic, and future performance data to monitor and project insights on contracts, performance, injuries, team fit, development, and potential. Follow them on Twitter at @ProFitXAI and on Instagram.
According to Bobby Marks of ESPN.com, the Spurs have until August 1 to extend DeRozan to an extension contract that can be as much as $33.3 million in the 2021-2022 season.
If DeRozan wasn’t to be extended by that date, then on August 2 he becomes an unrestricted free agent with his choice to re-sign with the Spurs or any other team that has the cap space to sign him, or a team over the cap that could work with the Spurs on a sign-and-trade agreement.
Teams that can open at least $34.9 million in cap space are the Knicks, Spurs, and Thunder.
As mentioned above, if DeRozan wanted to go to a current playoff team that’s already over the cap, that would require a sign-and-trade agreement between the team, DeRozan, and the Spurs.
For the Spurs, they have to decide if they want to try to re-sign DeRozan, which would keep him as the key playmaker on the team, or if they’d rather use their projected $49 million in cap space to sign other free agents and give the younger players the opportunity to develop as the go-to players on the team.
Statistics from NBA.com/stats and Basketball Reference