After locking up their point guard of the future earlier this week it sounds like the San Antonio Spurs are far away from a deal with one of their other star guards, DeMar DeRozan.
Earlier this week the San Antonio Spurs came to terms with their point guard of the future. The Spurs and Dejounte Murray agreed on a four-year/$64 million dollar deal that will keep the dynamic point guard with the Silver and Black. San Antonio has several upcoming free-agency decisions to make but it sounds like they’re far away from settling on a contract with one of their biggest stars.
Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that, while the Spurs and DeMar DeRozan‘s team have been discussing an extension for the veteran guard, both parties are far from agreed on the terms. DeRozan is eligible to receive a four-year deal worth up to as much as $150 million.
Even if the Spurs are unable to settle on a deal with DeMar he still has a $27.7 million dollar player option that he could pick up for the 2020-21 season. You could make the case that San Antonio would be better off with DeRozan picking up his player option and becoming an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2021.
The free-agent class of 2021 will rival that of 2019 in terms of talented players that are set to hit the open market. Stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Paul George, and even the Spurs own LaMarcus Aldridge could potentially be on the move. Punting the contract decisions down the road to 2021 would give the Spurs more options should they be unable to keep DeRozan in the Alamo City.
It would also give the Spurs two more season to see how some of their talented young guards are progressing. Bryn Forbes took a big leap and is primed to double down with another great season this year. Lonnie Walker IV has shown flashes of being something truly special but needs to show that he can play at the level he did in the Las Vegas Summer League all season long before the Spurs can firmly say that he’s a core part of their future. Two more seasons of development for those two, as well as Derrick White, would give the Spurs a much better picture of what their future looks like.
To DeRozan’s credit, it doesn’t seem like the uncertainty around his future with the Spurs is bothering him in the slightest. As The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported, DeRozan is focused on having a great second season with San Antonio.
“That’s not on my mind,” DeRozan said. “My focus is to go out there and hoop. How everything will unfold, that’s how it will unfold.”
DeRozan’s focus was never in question but it’s still reassuring to hear him reaffirm that he’s locked in on having another great season. He set career high’s in his first season with the Spurs and will be counted on to double down on that performance this year.
San Antonio brought in some talented free agents this summer and are getting an All-NBA defender back in Murray but there are few players on the team who can go out and create their own shot quite like DeRozan. When the game slows down and buckets are hard to come the Spurs will lean on the skills of DeRozan and Aldridge more than ever.
DeRozan is a huge part of this team’s success and an important part of the future. But until the two sides can come closer to a deal it might be best to table contract discussions until after the season is over.