In unsurprising Spurs news, DeMar DeRozan is reportedly unhappy in San Antonio and could leave this summer in free agency or via trade.
From the day he arrived in San Antonio, the fit between the Spurs and DeMar DeRozan has been less than perfect. While he has played some of the most efficient basketball of his career in silver and black, it hasn’t resulted in winning basketball. Now, in somewhat unsurprising Spurs news, DeRozan is unhappy in the Alamo City and could leave this summer.
In speaking with ESPN San Antonio, former Spurs beat reporter Jabari Young revealed that DeRozan was unhappy in San Antonio. Young went on to discuss DeRozan’s upcoming player-option decision and how it could impact his future with the team. Either through free agency or sign-and-trade, it’s looking more and more like DeMar has played his last game in a Spurs uniform.
After spending his entire career in Toronto, DeRozan was traded to the Spurs in the Kawhi Leonard deal. His unhappiness could simply come from a dislike of his environment. It really could be as simple as him not liking living in San Antonio. But it’s likely deeper than that.
He’s had his moments with the Spurs, such as recording his first career triple-double against his former team, but his fit within the San Antonio offense doesn’t seem tenable going forward.
At their most successful the Spurs ran an offense that prioritized quick decision making and plenty of ball movement. DeRozan’s mid-range isolation game is useful when the game slows down and you need a bucket but it doesn’t quite mesh with what you envision when you think about San Antonio Spurs basketball.
His refusal to shoot the long ball further complicated things in the Spurs offense. We saw the ripple effects that spread across the team when LaMarcus Aldridge finally expanded his range out behind the arc but in his time with the team, DeRozan has all but refused to shoot the three. After shooting just 45 three’s in his first season with the team, he had only managed to put up 30 before the season was suspended.
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It could be that DeMar is feeling the pressure from younger players and would prefer to lead another team. The Spurs are a fairly tight-lipped organization, locker room tensions rarely leak out to the media. But the young Spurs clearly feel that they have the potential to be great and just need the opportunity.
Not long ago, Dejounte Murray left a comment on one of Lonnie Walker‘s Instagram photos saying “I Swear We Gone Take Over This Sh*t When We Get That OPPORTUNITY Brother!!!!!!!” You see Murray and Derrick White openly calling for more playing time together and it’s not hard to envision their not so hidden feelings rubbing DeRozan the wrong way.
Ideally, the Spurs and DeRozan would come to some sort of sign and trade agreement that sends him where he wants to go and nets San Antonio assets as well. But him declining his player-option and simply leaving in free agency seems to be the more likely outcome. In any case, we may have seen the last of DeRozan in the silver and black.
San Antonio could undergo a complete overhaul this summer. With promising youngsters in waiting, they could embrace a full rebuild as a possible return to greatness. How DeRozan decides to handle his player-option is the pivotal decision that every other decision hangs on.