DeRozan will reunite with Rudy Gay after being dealt to the Spurs, along with Jakob Poeltl for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in July. The two have already reignited their bromance ahead of the season.
"That's my brother, man," Gay said of DeRozan, according to the San Antonio Express' Tom Orsborn. "We talked a lot before this even happened, but since the trade I think we've talked like three times a week."
The Spurs will be in tough to make the playoffs given the talent in the Western Conference. There has been speculation that this could be the first time since the 1996-97 season that San Antonio doesn't feature in the postseason.
Despite the pessimism, Gay's confidence remains high after fully recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered two years ago. The bulk of the roster remains similar to last season, with DeRozan and All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge set to lead the way offensively for the Spurs.
"That's the thing about this whole team, everybody has a chip on his shoulder," Gay said.
"(DeRozan's) is just more publicized. But, look, I'm healthy (and have something to prove), LaMarcus (Aldridge) always finds someway to have a chip on his shoulder. Jakob wants to prove he can be a great player. DJ (Dejounte Murray) has a chip on his shoulder because he wants to be known as one of the best at his position."
San Antonio (47-35) finished seventh in the Western Conference last season despite missing Leonard for all but nine games.