Earlier this week we looked at the Sixers potentially making a blockbuster trade with the Raptors regarding Kyle Lowry. A better fit for the 76ers may actually be his Raptors teammate, DeMar DeRozan.
All indications are that Bryan Colangelo and the Sixers will be in the mix for every big name on the trade market as they look to keep pace with the Celtics in the Eastern Conference title picture moving forward, and DeRozan is expected to be shopped – mainly because he already has been.
“One name brought up often in recent days has been Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, who could become available should the Raptors look to make wholesale changes following a third straight loss to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference playoffs,” wrote The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski this week.
The New York Times’ Marc Stein also thinks there’s a good possibility that DeRozan will be moved this summer.
“Word is that the Raptors quietly explored their DeMar DeRozan trade options last summer – before they had any inkling that a breakout season was looming – and I’d fully expect Toronto to explore those possibilities again,” Stein wrote on the heels of Toronto’s loss to the Cavs. “Not just with DeRozan but with anyone and everyone on the roster. The Raptors, under the stewardship of the team president Masai Ujiri, typically move in a measured fashion. You have to think this summer will be different.”
DeRozan is the king of the mid-range jumper, and he would complement JJ Redick well if the Sixers decide to bring him back in free agency. That said, DeRozan has also upped his 3-point shooting recently as he nearly tripled his 3-pointers made total from the 2016-17 season to the 2017-18 season – from 33 to 89.
DeRozan has shouldered the scoring load for Toronto for the past five years, but there’s a feeling around the NBA that he could dominate as a second or third option on a team.
If DeRozan is indeed available, expect there to be healthy competition for his services, particularly from the Lakers as DeRozan is a Compton, California native. The Lakers would be willing to give up players like Brandon Ingram in a deal for DeRozan, while the centerpiece of any Sixers deal would be this year’s No. 10 pick.
Philly would also likely have to part with Markelle Fultz in a deal with Toronto, which may be looking for a full-fledged rebuild.
Of note, ESPN’s Zach Lowe and The Ringers Bill Simmons discussed the Raptors potentially blowing it up this week on Simmons’ podcast and they both agreed that it’s more likely that Toronto runs it back next season – albeit with a different coach.