DeMar DeRozan's season has come to an end.
The San Antonio Spurs went 5-3 in their seeding games in the season restart, but it wasn't enough to make up the gap between them and the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers in the standings. It marks the first time in 23 seasons that the Spurs won't be in the playoffs. They finish the season with a 32-39 record, giving them the 11th-best record in the Western Conference.
For DeRozan, the attention now shifts to next season, as he has a player option in his contract for 2020-21 worth $27.7 million. If he picks it up, the only thing preventing him from not being in San Antonio for another season is if he's traded ahead of next season's trade deadline. If he declines it, he will become one of the best players available in free agency.
MORE: Where DeRozan ranks among best free agents
Back in March, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that DeRozan intended to decline his player option for next season if he and the Spurs weren't able to agree to an extension before the deadline, which they weren't. However, DeRozan quickly shot down that report and hasn't given any indication since of what he plans to do.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, DeRozan has until Oct. 17 to make a decision about next season.
"Honestly, when I tell you I haven't thought about a decision at all, I haven't thought about it," DeRozan told reporters while in Orlando.
Where it gets tricky is that it's still unknown how the season being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic will impact the salary cap moving forward, so there's a world in which DeRozan declines his player option for next season, only to sign a multi-year contract that pays him less annually moving forward.
Additionally, there aren't many teams that are projected to have cap space this offseason, limiting DeRozan's options. Other than the Spurs, the four teams that came to mind when thinking about potential destinations for the four-time All-Star should he decide to test free agency are the Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets and Denver Nuggets. Denver would give him the best chance of competing for a championship, whereas Detroit, New York and Charlotte would be his best chance of securing another big deal.
MORE: Free agent destinations for DeRozan
While the Spurs weren't able to make the playoffs, DeRozan had another strong season, posting averages of 22.1 points, 5.6 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game on 53.1 percent shooting from the field. He's basically eliminated 3s from his game, but doubling down on his strengths helped him have the most efficient season of his career. San Antonio's offensive rating improved by 3.8 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor, although they were still a slight negative in those situations because their defence took a hit.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.