"The Spurs should've traded DeRozan/Aldridge a couple of seasons ago."
When the Spurs were forced to ship off their future superstar in Leonard for DeMar DeRozan, it effectively ended what could've been another power duo in the league. Seriously, who could've predicted San Antonio would still win 61 games the season after Tim Duncan retired? Yet Kawhi and LaMarcus Aldridge did just that.
As we all know, however, things with The Klaw didn't exactly pan out well. Still, DeRozan was a nice consolation prize after it was clear Kawhi was going to find himself out of San Antonio one way or another. For one season, it worked decently. The Spurs finished 48-34 and pushed the Denver Nuggets to a Game 7 that went down to the wire. Soon, however, it became clear that the pairing wasn't working.
Spacing in the ensuing iterations of the Spurs was atrocious, as both of their stars operated almost exclusively in the mid-range. San Antonio Express-News columnist Mike Finger shared his thoughts on why the Spurs should be listening to offers for both in a November 2020 column.
"Brian Wright did not address directly any rumored discussions about Aldridge or DeRozan trades, but he did confirm that moving up in the draft was one of the options the Spurs considered, and that math isn’t exactly complicated," said Finger.
In the end, the front office ultimately couldn't find a deal they were happy with, sticking with a roster that finished with the franchise's first losing record since 1996-97. It's easy to say hindsight is 20/20, but in this case, I agree with many that something should've been done with one of the two before their values were reduced further with age.