Two separate reports have indicated that San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan is likely leaving this summer, but he has something else to say.
Within a few days of each other, two noteworthy NBA reports have indicated that DeMar DeRozan is likely to move on from the San Antonio Spurs. Things haven’t exactly gone as planned this season as the Spurs sit outside of the playoffs with the 12th seed after being projected to take a step forward with a few additions and the return of point guard Dejounte Murray.
Just a few nights ago during the Spurs’ 119-109 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, sideline reporter Chris B. Haynes revealed that DeRozan was likely to decline his upcoming player option unless he and the Spurs agreed to a contract extension before then.
When asked about it after the win, DeRozan responded without denying the claim. He playfully responded: “I said that? So it’s a rumor? Did my Mama say that?”
This was followed up by a report from former Spurs beat reporter Jabari Young during an appearance on ESPN Radio. Young stated outright that DeRozan wasn’t happy in San Antonio, which turned into a breaking news headline yesterday, citing issues with the offense and awkward roster construction.
DeRozan refuted these recent claims with a simple tweet late yesterday afternoon.
Who comes up with this shit?
— DeMar DeRozan (@DeMar_DeRozan) March 14, 2020
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Losing is frustrating, especially for a player in DeRozan’s shoes. Even so, this group seems to like each other and DeRozan is a key part of that. His lighthearted demeanor and general selflessness make him an ideal player to be around for an organization that’s done everything they can to make him comfortable.
Being traded from the Toronto Raptors was heartbreaking for the four-time All-Star, who built his fame and respect playing in the North. San Antonio welcomed him with open arms even though neither party was particularly happy about their situations.
Aligning with head coach Gregg Popovich has helped DeRozan become a better player in his prime years, evolving into a more efficient scorer and a borderline elite playmaker for his position.
If DeRozan chooses to leave San Antonio, it probably won’t be because he’s upset with the Spurs. It’s more plausible that DeRozan leaves because he wants a more sizeable payday than San Antonio’s front office is willing to give him, or because he feels there’s a better opportunity for him elsewhere.
Just because professional athletes are in the spotlight doesn’t mean they don’t go through the same decision-making processes of your average person. Leaving a job for another one isn’t always about being upset with your previous work environment, and DeRozan has the right to pursue any opportunity without labels being attached to him.
No matter what the future holds, the Spurs will always have respect for DeRozan and he’s likely to reciprocate that same energy.