DeMar DeRozan has spent all of his seven seasons so far in Toronto and he’s been able to grow into an all-star while helping the Raptors become one of the better teams in the East. Now, he only has one season left on his contract with a player option for next year. He would be slated to rake in $9.5 million next season, but he would be able to make a lot more with the way he’s been playing the past few seasons. DeRozan is looked at as one of the better shooting guards in the league and he deserves to be paid like it.
Many teams would obviously love to have DeRozan on their side, but he has now said that he would like to be a Raptor for the rest of his career. Via SportsNet:
“That’s one you thing you can never question: my loyalty to the city,” DeRozan told host Joey Vendetta on the Jeff Blair Show. “How much I really love and appreciate the team and the organization. I think all the fans understand that. A lot of times they don’t understand how contracts or things like that. But I’ve always stressed that this is where I want to be my whole career.”
“A new contract is what DeMar is going for and we feel we have a good shot,” Raptors GM Masai Ujiri said Thursday evening on Prime Time Sports. “This is his team, this is a team that he knows very well, loves the city, is well-loved here, and we can offer him a year extra. There are so many things, so we feel comfortable.”
This shouldn’t be that big of a surprise because Toronto has stuck by DeRozan throughout his career so far and he has been able to enjoy a somewhat successful run so far with the Raptors. However, one team who wants to be on his radar is his hometown Los Angeles Lakers. DeRozan grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant like many youngsters do growing up near LA. This is the kind of situation that will test what degree of loyalty DeRozan possesses for Toronto.
Multiple beat writers and reporters have said that DeRozan seemingly loves Toronto a lot more than other Raptor greats such as Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, and Chris Bosh. A max contract is most likely going to be the price that Toronto will need to pay to keep him, but with an increasing cap this could work out well for both parties. If I had to take a guess, I’d say that the Raptors and DeRozan get a deal done to keep him up North.