Why this DeRozan trade proposal is a home-run for the 76ers
DeMar DeRozan’s bailiwick is scoring the basketball, and while the Philadelphia 76ers, owners of the second-best offensive rating in the NBA this season, are certainly not bereft of any ammunition on that end, chalking up scoring as DeRozan’s lone, potential offering is a glib takeaway.
First, let’s tackle the obvious. Despite a rather slow start to the season, DeRozan remains a highly efficient scorer who has already savvily overcome the lack of a high-volume three-point shooting game with his elite rim-running skills and court sense. And unless you have just been booted out of your cryogenic chamber, he is a hell of a mid-range operator.
Onto the more obscure, DeRozan can be the perfect third fiddle to Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey not only due to his scoring prowess, but due to his heady skill as a playmaker. Since his San Antonio tenure, the six-time All-Star has grown into one of the best and most efficient point forwards in the league. He can capably play as the nominal point guard in long stretches when needed — something Philadelphia would highly value given its rather concentric group of bona fide table-setters.
In that sense, DeRozan can be Nicolas Batum cranked up to 10 (minus the reliable spot-up shooting). And with the 76ers still needing consistent scoring outside of Embiid, Maxey, and Tobias Harris, DeRozan can easily slide in and take over lineups with a dearth of offensive production (e.g. bench lineups that can benefit from him leading in staggered-minute configurations).
Moreover, trading for DeRozan will not affect the 76ers’ grandiose plans for free agency next year, as he’s already on the final year of his contract.