NBA All-Star in Talks to Sign Contract Extension: Report


Getty SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 30: Gregg Popovich head coach of the San Antonio Spurs talks with players LaMarcus Aldridge #12, and DeMar DeRozan #10 on the bench during an NBA game against the Houston Rockets held November 30, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Houston Rockets won 136-105. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)

The San Antonio Spurs are looking to lock up DeMar Derozan to a new contract extension.

As the Spurs prepare for the 2019-20 season, they’re currently in discussions to sign DeRozan to a contract extension. However, as Shams Charania of The Athletic reports, nothing is imminent.

“DeRozan and the Spurs are having discussions on a contract extension, though nothing is imminent, league sources told The Athletic.

DeRozan has a player option for 2020-21 worth $27.7 million, which makes clarity on his future important as both sides have been open toward discussing an extension. DeRozan said during Spurs’ media day on Monday that his focus is on the season.”

The veteran guard stressed he’s not worried about a new contract.

“That’s not on my mind,” DeRozan said. “My focus is to go out there and hoop. How everything will unfold, that’s how it will unfold.”

Derozan is eligible to sign a veteran extension for four years up to $150 million. He is in the midst of the fourth year of a five-year, $139 million deal he signed with the Toronto Raptors in the summer of 2016.

The Spurs Value DeRozan as the ‘Anchor’ of the Franchise

According to Charania, the Spurs value DeRozan highly. The 30-year-old veteran was acquired via trade during the summer of 2018 after the Kawhi Leonard saga which saw the Spurs trade Leonard to the Raptors.

During his first season in San Antonio, DeRozan won over the Spurs organization by posting career-highs in assists (6.2 per game) and rebounds (6.0 per game) while posting 21.2 points per game on an effective 48.1 percent from the field, as Charania notes.

“In terms of the fit on the floor, the Spurs acquired DeRozan for his scoring and passing prowess and his first season was a feeling out process. He worked to fit into the offense and pick and choose his spots, but both sides will benefit if DeRozan plays his carefree, prolific scoring style this season.

The Spurs value DeRozan. They believe the four-time All-Star is an anchor for the franchise and are keeping an open mind entering the season. He had a strong summer of training in Los Angeles, according to those present at his workouts and five-on-five runs with other NBA players, using last season’s non-All Star season as motivation in his 3-point shooting game and overall repertoire.”

DeRozan’s Inabiility to Convert on 3-Pointers Stagnates the Spurs

Although DeRozan is a consummate professional and well-liked by his teammates, his inability to hit a 3-pointer hinders himself and his team.

Somehow, DeRozan became even worse from 3-point range in his first season in San Antonio. After converting on 31.6 percent of his 3-point attempts in 2017-18, he made just 15.6 percent of his 3-point attempts last season.

Furthermore, the fact that DeRozan didn’t appear to be as aggressive in looking to score along with the fact that he just can’t convert on 3-point attempts likely stagnates the Spurs from being anymore than a first-round exit playoff squad.

The Spurs tied an NBA record with their 22nd consecutive playoff berth in 2018-19. With that said, San Antonio was nowhere near close to being a championship-contending team, barely entering the playoffs as a seventh seed with a 48-34 record. Outside of their injury-plagued 2017-18 campaign which saw the Spurs finish 47-35, it was their worst record since the 1996-97 season — the season before the playoff streak began.

Despite those weaknesses, DeRozan remains the best option to be the face of a Spurs franchise in the aftermath of Kawhi Leonard.

We’ll see if the Spurs lock up DeRozan to a long-term contract extension.