Head-scratching rumors of DeRozan reuniting with Spurs raise major concern

DeMar DeRozan is a free agent rumored to be looking for a one-year deal or a sign & trade, and the San Antonio Spurs have emerged as a possible suitor.
Gregg Popovich, DeMar DeRozan
Gregg Popovich, DeMar DeRozan / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Rumors of a potential reunion between DeMar DeRozan and the San Antonio Spurs have surfaced, raising eyebrows and concerns among the fanbase. DeRozan, who was initially traded to the Spurs as part of the deal that sent Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors in 2018, brought some memorable moments but ultimately led flawed teams that never had a realistic shot at winning a championship.

While the trade was controversial, there was a domino effect that led to Victor Wembanyama and tons of value for the Spurs. The prospect of bringing DeRozan back now seems to conflict with the team's current trajectory.

In August 2021, the Chicago Bulls acquired DeRozan from the Spurs in a sign-and-trade agreement. The deal sent Thaddeus Young, Al-Farouq Aminu, a protected first-round draft pick, and two second-round draft picks to San Antonio. Now that DeRozan is a free agent again, he needs a new team. However, the market for his services has been notably dry. Many teams lack cap space and are hesitant to enter the luxury tax due to the increased penalties under the new CBA.

The Spurs shouldn't be looking back to DeRozan

The Spurs, on the other hand, are building around a 7'4" beast named Victor Wembanyama. This new era of Spurs basketball requires space and versatility—elements that DeRozan's game does not naturally provide. Known for his mid-range mastery and ball-dominant style, DeRozan has never been a prolific three-point shooter. This style clashes with the needs of a team built around Wemby, who will thrive with more floor spacing and ball movement.

Moreover, the Spurs' young guards, Devin Vassell and recent draft pick Stephon Castle, need opportunities to grow and take on larger roles. Vassell, turning 24 in August, has already shown promise as a reliable scorer, and Castle is expected to develop into a significant contributor. The focus should be on their development and integrating them into a system that maximizes Wembanyama's unique talents.

The addition of DeRozan would not only disrupt this developmental timeline but also compromise the stylistic fit necessary for Alamo City's new approach. A return to the days of mid-range heavy, ball-dominant play is not what this young, evolving team needs. Instead, the Spurs should concentrate on building a cohesive unit that complements their emerging superstar and nurtures their young talent.

While DeRozan remains a talented player, his fit with the current Spurs roster is minimal. The Spurs need to stay focused on their long-term goal of building a sustainable contender around Wembanyama, rather than reverting to past strategies that didn't yield the desired success. The potential reunion may sound nostalgic, but it's a move that doesn't align with the direction in which the Spurs should be heading.