DeMar DeRozan's 5-year / $139,000,000 contract he signed with Toronto in 2016 has officially expired. While the four-time All-Star never wanted to leave Toronto, he displayed great leadership and professionalism during his time in San Antonio.
In the three seasons DeRozan played with the Spurs, he averaged 21.6 PPG, 6.2 APG, and 5.3 RPG on just over 50% from the field. All of these numbers were actually higher than the career averages he posted during his nine seasons in Toronto.
DeRozan is certainly a polarizing player, because while he is very good at what he does well, the missing color in his rainbow is one that many deem to be essential. In his three seasons with the Spurs, DeRozan shot just 22.7% from deep, and attempted less than one per game.
In DeRozan's five playoff runs in Toronto, his lack of shooting efficiency often limited his team's potential. While DeRozan's overall shooting efficiency has gone up in San Antonio, he has essentially abandoned the three-point shot entirely, which directly opposes the style of basketball that the Clippers play.
Part of what made the Clippers so successful in the 2021 playoffs, was their ability to utilize a 5-out lineup. Having all five players on the floor be able to take and make threes was a weapon the Clippers utilized all the way to the Western Conference Finals. If DeMar DeRozan were to replace one of the Clippers' shooters in the starting lineup, it would allow opposing defenses the luxury of not defending him behind the arc. For a Clippers team that has set records for their three-point shooting, this does not seem to be a development that they will be interested in.
While there are numerous basketball reasons as to why the Clippers should not pursue DeMar DeRozan, it contractually makes no sense either. Because DeRozan will command a salary well beyond what the Clippers can afford, their only chance at fitting him in the cap would be through a sign and trade with the Spurs. This would add DeRozan to the roster, but likely at the expense of Patrick Beverley, Luke Kennard, or Ivica Zubac. Losing any of these key rotation players for somebody who is not an ideal fit for the roster would go against everything the Clippers' front office is about.
DeMar DeRozan is still a very good NBA player, and will deservedly get a nice contract this off-season, but it should not come from the LA Clippers.