DeMar DeRozan is reportedly taking an open mind approach to NBA Free Agency this offseason. Sam Amick of The Athletic ($$) stated on April 7th that DeRozan is open to going to any team in free agency.
But what teams are the best fit for him? The answer is: it has to be a team that features pick and rolls in their offense. DeRozan has thrived in pick and rolls since 2015, shooting 47.4 percent from the field on 6.4 shots per game.
The shooting percentage has allowed him to average 8.2 points per game as a pick and roll ball handler. Three teams could use a pick and roll ball handler next season: the LA Clippers, the New York Knicks, and the Chicago Bulls.
Let’s take a look at the three best landing spots for unrestricted free agent DeMar DeRozan in NBA free agency this offseason, starting with the LA Clippers.
The Clippers were 12th in pick and roll possessions in the regular season averaging 21.3 per game. The Clippers were able to shoot 45 percent from the field on 16.5 shots per game, creating 19.8 points per game.
A large portion of the team’s pick and roll production came from Kawhi Leonard, as he accounted for 26.8 percent of the team’s pick and roll possessions, averaging 5.3 per game. He shot 51.7 percent from the field on these pick-and-roll possessions on 4.4 shots per game.
The field goal percentage allowed him to average 6.3 points per game out of the pick and roll: 31.8 percent of the Clippers’ total production.
Unfortunately, Kawhi suffered a partially torn ACL in his left knee in the second round of the playoffs versus the Utah Jazz. Gilbert McGregor of NBA.com Canada spoke to Dr. Michael S. George of KSF Orthopedic out of Houston, who stated that Kawhi would be out through December of next season.
Consequently, the Clippers will need another pick and roll ball handler to allow them to stay above water while Kawhi is out of action. Therefore, DeRozan would be a perfect fit due to his ability to excel in the pick and roll.
The only potential obstacle to DeRozan signing with the Clippers is that the team is scheduled to be at least $36.3 million over the cap. The team’s cap situation means that they could only acquire DeRozan via a sign and trade with the San Antonio Spurs.
The Clippers could construct a sign and trade centered around Patrick Beverley, Ivica Zubac, and draft picks. If the Spurs don’t like this deal, then DeMar DeRozan will have to move on to his next option: the New York Knicks.