San Antonio Spurs: 4 Goals for 2021 free agency
3. The Spurs must explore signing and trading DeMar DeRozan
While the Spurs should’ve traded DeMar DeRozan earlier, there is still an opportunity for them to do so in free agency. With only a handful of teams capable of signing DeRozan outright and only the Knicks appearing as a possible destination, other teams could look to acquire him in a sign and trade. The Los Angeles Lakers or the Miami Heat could be options in that scenario but would need the Spurs' help to make that happen.
Furthermore, the Lakers could offer Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and their 2027 first-round pick (top-five protected). The Heat, however, fall just short of having enough cap space to sign DeRozan without renouncing the rights to both Kendrick Nunn and Robinson. That said, a double sign and trade could be possible, assuming all sides agree, with Robinson being sent to the Spurs and DeRozan to the Heat.
Either move would ensure that San Antonio receives at least some trade value in return for their best player as opposed to losing him for essentially nothing.
4. The Spurs should make full use of cap space
While San Antonio will have significant cap space, they aren’t guaranteed to use all of it. They could choose to re-sign several of their free agents, drastically limiting their available cap space, or perhaps more likely, the pursuit of their top free-agent targets fail.
Should the latter happen, San Antonio should shift their focus to acquiring assets by using their cap space to take on bad contracts from teams who project to be either near or deep into the luxury tax. While it might not be the most exciting use of cap space, it is a great way for the Spurs to stockpile assets in exchange for helping teams like Golden State, Cleveland, Boston, and Utah.
For example, the Spurs could use some of their cap space to take on Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love's massive contracts from Golden State or Cleveland in exchange for a high first-round pick or multiple firsts. Other possible deals could include absorbing Tristan Thompson's contract in exchange for multiple second-rounders from Boston or acquiring Derrick Favors from Utah for the 30th pick in the 2021 draft. Ultimately, the Spurs can still make full use of their cap space regardless of whether they're able to sign a key free agent this off-season.
Spurs fans will have to wait and see what changes are made in free agency. That said, were San Antonio to complete the aforementioned goals, they would've successfully made the most of a crucial offseason.