The San Antonio Spurs won’t be without their top scorer when 2020-21 gets rolling.
DeMar DeRozan is opting in for next season with the Spurs, the team announced on Monday. He led the team with a 22.1 points per game and was one of two Spurs to play in 68 games last season (Derrick White was the other).
An 11-year veteran, DeRozan was originally drafted by the Toronto Raptors with the ninth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. For his career, the four-time All-Star has appeared in 820 games, averaging 20.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 34.0 minutes. DeRozan has seen action in 58 playoff games, averaging 21.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 37.3 minutes.
Despite his consistency and scoring touch, San Antonio (32-39) finished with a losing record for the first time since 1996-97, the year Gregg Popovich replaced Bob Hill as coach not long before the club drafted Tim Duncan. The Spurs won at least 50 games in 19 of 20 seasons. The only time they didn’t in that span, they won the first of their five championships in a 50-game season shortened by a labor dispute.
It makes sense for the 11-year veteran to opt in at nearly $28 million in the final season of a $139 million, five-year contract he signed with the Raptors in 2016.
Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge missed the 2019-20 season restart to have shoulder surgery and remains one of the other bedrock players for San Antonio. While the Spurs had seven players average in double figures, DeRozan and Aldridge averaged almost twice as many points as the rest of them. The 35-year-old Aldridge has one year remaining on his contract as well.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.