Spurs: Could DeMar DeRozan be traded to the Lakers?

DeMar Derozan - Los Angeles Lakers v San Antonio Spurs
DeMar Derozan - Los Angeles Lakers v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/Getty Images
1 of 3
Next Slide

After three seasons, DeMar DeRozan could very well have played his last game for the San Antonio Spurs. DeRozan will enter free agency as one of the most talented players available, with several teams having more than enough cap space that could pursue DeMar.

While San Antonio would likely prefer to retain him, it's unclear whether or not the two sides can actually agree on a new contract. DeMar could command as much as $30 million per year in free agency after another strong season. As he's now at age 31, DeRozan would likely want to lock himself into a four-year deal.

The Spurs are among several teams with adequate cap space and could conceivably offer him around $30 million a year. That said, it would likely only be a two-year deal.

While the Spurs have significant cap space now, re-signing DeRozan to a three or four-year contract could push them deep into the luxury tax later. This is especially true when factoring in long-term contracts on the books, as well as upcoming rookie extensions to Keldon Johnson and Lonnie Walker IV.

Whether or not the Spurs offer DeMar a new contract could be a moot point if he's intent on playing elsewhere. Teams such as the New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, or the Miami Heat could all be options. On the other hand, other teams without the necessary cap space could theoretically acquire DeRozan via a sign-and-trade, including the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers face an unprecedented path to repeating as champions this season, as no team has ever won a championship as a 7th seed. Should they lose, particularly in an early round, there will be pressure for them to be active in free agency. DeRozan, despite being a questionable fit on the Lakers, is certainly talented enough to help them.

Were there mutual interest between DeRozan and the Lakers, the Lakers could acquire DeMar by engaging with the Spurs in a sign-and-trade. If the past is any indicator, the Spurs probably wouldn't be too excited to help their former rivals. That said, they may be willing to do DeMar a solid while also receiving trade assets in return. After opting not to trade him for assets earlier this season prior to the trade deadline, this would be the Spurs' last chance to do so.