Not a lot of teams have the fit or cap space for DeMar DeRozan, but the San Antonio Spurs could bring back a decent return from the Atlanta Hawks.
Of the many teams that could eventually end up making a run at DeMar DeRozan, the Atlanta Hawks are the only one of the bunch that makes sense. The San Antonio Spurs star could take some of the scoring load off of Trae Young’s hands while bringing winning experience and veteran leadership to that backcourt.
The best way to compliment DeRozan’s game is with sure-fire shooting and there are few shooters on the planet who are comparable to Trae. Meanwhile, the Hawks have drafted a lot of wings in recent years that could bode well for the future. If DeRozan picks up his player option for next season, the Spurs may still look to send him to off and get an asset back.
Even though they didn’t make the playoffs, the Hawks have a ton of potential and made win-now moves throughout the season that did not reflect the gradual rebuilding process that they seemed bound for early in the previous offseason. Bringing DeRozan to Atlanta reflects those values for the Hawks. San Antonio needs help on the perimeter that implements some defensive intensity while helping to proceed into the modern era.
The Atlanta Hawks trade De’Andre Hunter, Dewayne Dedmon and OKC’s lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick for DeMar DeRozan.
In exchange for their best player, the Spurs get back the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, De’Andre Hunter. The 6-foot-8 forward has a great feel for the game at 22 years old that he puts to use as a low-volume three-level-scorer from the wing. Hunter is off to a great start, as he averaged12.3 points on 41 percent from the floor including 35.5 percent on 4.8 threes per game.
While he put up impressive numbers as a rookie, there’s not much to suggest that Hunter is more than a high-level role player. Playing a team-oriented playstyle, Hunter making winning plays as a solid passer and a strong rebounder with a great frame for the modern game. He can defend positions 2-through-4, making him an ideal fit for the Spurs’ young core at the small forward.
San Antonio would also be reunited with Dewayne Dedmon, whose had an interesting career arch since departing from the River City. After grinding in the paint and taking limited jumpers under head coach Gregg Popovich, Dedmon became a floor-spacing five in Atlanta. Dedmon peaked last season as a solid starting-caliber center who hit 83 triples while shooting well above league average. That earned him a hefty payday by the Sacramento Kings, who traded him back to Atlanta after 34 games in which they realized it wasn’t a good fit.
More from Air Alamo
- San Antonio Spurs: 3 Players who must step up in Aldridge’s absence
- Predicting week 8 results, featuring a double-header with the Warriors
- The Ringer podcast goes crazy over Spurs’ Keldon Johnson
- San Antonio Spurs: Preparing for another DeMar DeRozan All-Star snub
- Rockets suffer another devasting injury before facing San Antonio Spurs
Maybe Dedmon can replenish his value as a floor-spacing five in San Antonio. The team wouldn’t lean on him heavily at all, but he’d get his shot in short spurts as a complementary piece to the regular rotation. His salary makes the deal work in the first place, but he’s only guaranteed $1 million in the 2021-22 season, so the Spurs can cut him and pursue free agents after one year.
Personally, it feels like both parties win here. The Hawks are a playoff team with Young, Capela, Collins and DeRozan in the lineup. Plus, they’ve been developing talented role players to put around them for years now, so they shouldn’t have a problem getting into the postseason.
For San Antonio, they get real value coming off of DeRozan’s player-option. While this season was a disappointment by their standards, at least they’d be getting a good return for the best player on the roster and in turn, a returning long-term value on the Kawhi trade.
You can find other articles in this series by clicking on the team name below:
Western Conference: LA Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies. Eastern Conference: Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Hornets.