The San Antonio Spurs missed the NBA playoffs in 2019-20 for the first time in 22 years, and are looking to launch a rebuild through their young players.
In the aftermath of the infamous Kawhi Leonard trade, which saw the Spurs acquire DeMar DeRozan from the Toronto Raptors, many expected DeRozan to be the next face of the franchise.
"DeMar doesn't like San Antonio and doesn't want to be there."
5 teams that could be a good fit for DeMar DeRozan
DeRozan is one of the most efficient guards in the league and has the ability to put up 20+ points per game while creating his own shot.
The 31-year-old has a player option on his existing contract and will become a free agent if chooses not to re-sign. While it would be unusual for a player to leave money on the table, NBA trade rumors suggest that DeRozan may yet seek a move elsewhere.
With that in mind, let's take a look at 5 possible destinations for DeMar DeRozan.
#5 Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns were the most impressive team in the 2020 Orlando bubble and went on an unbeaten eight-game winning streak. Led by All-Star shooting guard, Devin Booker, the team must acquire more pieces before they can challenge the tough teams of the competitive Western Conference.
The combination of Devin Booker and DeMar DeRozan could be brilliant for the Suns. DeRozan would offer a scoring punch and a much-needed veteran presence to the Suns' young roster.
#4 Denver Nuggets
A potential sign-and-trade for DeRozan could see the Denver Nuggets finally get their third star. The Nuggets surprised most people by dramatically defeating the favorites LA Clippers in the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs, and reaching the Western Conference Finals.
The duo of Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic was sensational but the absence of another reliable scorer didn't go unnoticed. As a result, the Nuggets often struggled to get baskets late in games, especially in the Conference Finals against the Lakers.
DeMar DeRozan fits in this team's timeline perfectly, bringing with him veteran leadership and more importantly, clutch scoring.
#3 Miami Heat
After drastically exceeding expectations in the 2019-20 playoffs, the Miami Heat showed the rest of the league that teamwork, work ethic, and dedication can lead to great results.
The Heat pulled off a comprehensive upset of reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, who boasted the best regular season record. They advanced to the NBA Finals to face the highly-favored LA Lakers and took the series to 6 games, despite suffering from injuries to their key players.
According to the latest NBA trade rumors, the Heat could look to make significant roster changes to find the missing pieces they need for another Finals run next season. DeRozan and his playmaking would be a perfect fit for a gritty Miami Heat roster.
#2 New York Knicks
The New York Knicks haven't had an All-Star on their roster in years. If Demar DeRozan wants to use his veteran leadership to guide a young team, New York is the best destination for him.
The bright lights of Madison Square Garden beckon and DeRozan can use the team's massive cap space to negotiate a larger contract.
There are few things that would more to a player's legacy than taking this iteration of the Knicks to the playoffs. DeRozan and Julius Randle would be an interesting duo on the offensive end and could attract more star talent to New York.
#1 Toronto Raptors
Despite most NBA trade rumors linking him to a variety of teams, the best destination for DeRozan would be the team that he's spent most of his career with, the Toronto Raptors.
A fan-favorite before his unexpected trade, he would be welcomed with open arms by the fans and the organization. DeRozan grew from rookie to All-Star with the Raptors and fans would be thrilled to see the chemistry between him and Kyle Lowry once again.
The trade which took DeRozan to San Antonio was the Raptors' blockbuster move for Kawhi Leonard.
Since then, Kawhi Leonard has won an NBA title with Toronto, before departing to the Clippers. DeRozan has prior experience with the current roster's key players Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, and Fred VanVleet. Their chemistry and team effort could lead the franchise to their second NBA Finals appearance.Published 07 Nov 2020, 07:00 IST