San Antonio Spurs: Rumors suggest big roster changes coming

Dejounte Murray, Derrick White - San Antonio Spurs v New Orleans Pelicans
Dejounte Murray, Derrick White - San Antonio Spurs v New Orleans Pelicans / Pool/Getty Images

As the 2021 NBA Draft and the beginning of free agency quickly approaches, the San Antonio Spurs are increasingly finding themselves in the middle of the rumor mill. It has now been long speculated that the roster will look significantly different next season, and with all of the rumors buzzing around the Spurs in particular, it appears that those speculations have a chance of coming true.

Perhaps most obviously, rumors have floated around for months now pertaining to DeMar DeRozan given that he will soon be a free agent. Some have implied that DeRozan is comfortable in San Antonio and will look to stay, while others suggest he's taking a "wide-open" approach to free agency and could soon be moving to another team. Most recently, rumors began spreading that the Los Angeles Lakers may be interested in him, whether that interest is in a trade or in free agency.

DeRozan's impending free agency, along with that of several other players on the roster, also means that the Spurs will potentially have lots of cap space to work with. With that being the case, rumors of the Spurs aggressively pursuing John Collins have been circulating the media waves for some time now. Those rumors are now beginning to culminate in a recent statement made by Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler, in which he doesn't appear to be confident that the Hawks will be able to re-sign every player that they want to.

Furthermore, just yesterday, The Athletic's Zach Harper released a statement indicating that both Dejounte Murray and Derrick White are "gettable" from the Spurs, according to his sources.

With the Spurs now missing the playoffs two seasons in a row, it's conceivable that the Spurs are looking to make a move with these two to land a more immediate franchise-changing player. Particularly in Derrick White's case, given his age and proneness to injury, the franchise could be looking to gain some assets for him in return while he still holds value.

All the San Antonio Spurs rumors may be meaningless

With all of these rumors in mind, though, let's take a step back and remember who we're talking about here. The Spurs, at least up to this point, are generally not known to make these kinds of blockbuster moves.

While there could definitely be some truth to the Lakers' rumored interest in DeRozan, given his reluctance to shoot the three-ball, those more familiar with the Lakers seem to think that he would be a bad fit on their current roster.

If the Lakers want to ensure that they're able to land DeRozan, a sign-and-trade deal with the Spurs would likely be necessary. Because he may be a bad fit for the team, though, they may not be willing to give up the required assets to make the deal worth it for the Spurs.

Moving on to John Collins, while he would obviously be a fantastic pickup for the Spurs, there is definitely still a chance that the Hawks decide to take a risk and spend big money to keep their current young core together. And even if they aren't willing to spend big on Collins, the Spurs may not be willing to either. For all we know, the Spurs may be more optimistic about taking on a bad contract for future draft compensation, or perhaps even to move up the board in the 2021 Draft.

Finally, looking at the rumor that I find to be the least likely to materialize, I highly doubt that any kind of deal will be made that ships off Murray or White. Particularly with Murray, who many see as the heart and soul of the Spurs (perhaps outside of Patty Mills), I have a hard time thinking of any trade package that would convince the front office to part ways with him, barring any godfather-tier offer.

Spurs fans, if I were you, at least for the time being, I would temper your fears and/or expectations that a huge deal is in the works behind the scenes within the Spurs front office. For now, it would be wise to begin getting excited about the 2021 NBA Draft, as the Spurs will likely have their choice of several very exciting young players in the lottery.