It should come as no surprise that the offensively-challenged Orlando Magic are looking for scoring help. They have the second-lowest offensive rating in the NBA, behind the “disappointing” New York Knicks. As a result, they have been reportedly scouring the trade market and have expressed interest in San Antonio Spurs wing DeMar DeRozan according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
The two sides each have intriguing reasons for doing something with DeRozan. O’Connor highlights that the Spurs are at an interesting crossroads in their ability to make the playoffs in the wild Western Conference. DeRozan can be a free agent next offseason if he declines is $27.7 million player option. San Antonio may not want to be on the hook for that chunk of change. To complicate matters more, both the Spurs and DeRozan are quite a ways apart in contract extension talks according to Sam Amick of The Athletic. If no deal is agreed upon San Antonio may pull the plug and move on, especially if the playoffs become a fleeting opportunity.
Orlando, who some NBA experts profiled as a potential top-four team in the East, is trying to get back on track offensively. DeRozan would certainly fit the profile of “bucket-getter”. He is averaging 19.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game on 49.3% shooting (which is 4.1% higher than his career average). If inserted into the roster right now, DeRozan would lead the team in points and assists per game. Needless to say, he would help Orlando greatly this season.
San Antonio is in a predicament in their window of contention, and, coupled with a lackluster free agency class next summer, makes the DeMar DeRozan situation intriguing. Several teams around the league may be looking for that top-tier talent to push them over the edge. Regardless of your feelings on DeRozan from an advanced stats point of view (mid-range jump shot haters have been averting their eyes for a while), he is still a positive offensive player. Orlando is likely to be the first, of several, teams looking at DeRozan.