Just over a month ago, the San Antonio Spurs were reportedly talking to guard DeMar DeRozan about a contract extension. The former Toronto Raptor arrived in summer 2018 in exchange for Kawhi Leonard, who just happened to lead the Canadian NBA franchise to its first-ever NBA Championship the following season. Spurs fans are hoping DeRozan can lead the team to an NBA Finals in 2020 despite a slow start to the season. Fans can use the Mybookie promo code 2019 to wager on the Spurs when they take on their NBA rivals.
San Antonio is banking on DeRozan becoming the star that Leonard was when playing for them. DeRozan is in the last year of his contract with the Spurs although he has a player option for next season. With the way that players have decided to opt-out of their contracts in recent years (Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving), there is no guarantee that DeRozan will stay in San Antonio.
Do the Spurs need DeMar DeRozan?
DeRozan is set to make $27,739,975 this season, which is identical to his salary if he triggers his player option for next season. He is a four-time NBA All-Star and garners large wages despite the results on the court not being title-winning. Compared to Leonard, DeRozan failed to get the Raptors over the NBA Playoff hump and fans couldn’t have been happier in Toronto with the Spurs exchanging the two players. Spurs fans should read this article ahead of the next game before wagering on the team.
Sure, Leonard has left Toronto for the Los Angeles Clippers as a free agent, but you cannot take away the NBA title the Raptors won. Not only did the Raptors win the biggest prize in the NBA, but they ended the Golden State Warriors dynasty.
DeRozan averaged 21.2 points, 6.2 assists, and 6.0 rebounds per game in 2018-19. This season has started in a similar fashion with 20.0 points, 4.8 assists, and 5.0 rebounds per game. Yet, do those numbers mean the 30-year-old is really worth a max four-year, $150 million contracts?
Paying for the past
The problem with sports contracts is they reward players for past performances. DeRozan is no doubt a good NBA player, but is he in the elite range? A max contract would indicate he is an elite player. The problem with sinking $150m (an average of $37.5m per season) in San Antonio puts all of its eggs into one basket.
DeRozan is getting older and will be 31 when the 2020-21 season tips off. It isn‘t too old by NBA standards, but is age catching up with him already?
His numbers have declined in points per game in the last two years. He achieved a career-high in 2016-17 with 27.3 ppg hitting his highest peak as a player. Since then, that average has been reduced to 23.0, 21.2, and this season’s 20.0. This year’s figure could come up as DeRozan is currently shooting over 50%, something he has never ended a season doing.
Although DeRozan is in line for a max deal, the Spurs are not a foolish franchise. They sent Leonard to the Raptors cashing in on the soon-to-be free agent. It is doubtful the Spurs would have been NBA Finals contenders with Leonard in 2018-19, so the move was a good one in the long-run.
San Antonio is reportedly interested in a short-term deal with DeRozan while the player wants long-term security. DeRozan’s options next summer could be limited due to the number of “young teams” with cap space to sign him outweighing potential title winners. Even if an NBA title contender had cap space, would they use it to sign DeRozan?
The Spurs could have all the power in getting DeRozan for at least one more season. However, the Spurs do look interested in keeping the guard for the right price over the next few years.