Former all-star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan was one of the focal points of a blockbuster trade last off-season that brought Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors and sent DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs. Since that trade, DeRozan has been the subject of different trade talks, with his future in San Antonio in question. It has been reported that the Spurs are strongly considering offering DeRozan a man contract to keep him in the organization long-term.
This past season was arguably the weakest roster the Spurs have assembled in two decades. But even with that sense of doubt, the team made the playoffs in the brutal Western Conference and faced the Denver Nuggets, losing the battle in seven games.
Gregg Popovich is extremely fond of the unit he has put together. According to sources close to the situation, the Spurs value the presence of DeRozan, and amidst all the speculation of using him as trade bait, plan to keep him on the team long-term.
Early in his career, DeRozan relied on his athleticism to penetrate defenses and finish with flashy layups and powerful dunks. Since then, he has developed a slick mid-range game, establishing himself as one of the best in the league from that range. On the opposite side of that is the three-point shot, which DeRozan is historically horrible at. Last season he shot 15.6% from behind the three-point line while attempting 0.6 threes a game.
The success of the Spurs will be reliant on their coaching staff and player development. As in years’ past, the team will have to buy into the Spurs culture of ball movement and working to get the absolute best shot on each possession. DeRozan and power forward LaMarcus Aldridge could be the two veteran leaders for years to come.