DeMar DeRozan has made it clear from the start — he loves Toronto. He wants to stay with the Raptors, here is what he said after they were eliminated from the playoffs:
“My mindset has always been Toronto… When we was terrible, I said I’m going to stick through this whole thing and I want to be that guy who brings this organization to where it is now. I definitely don’t want to switch up after we win.”
Good to his word, he’s not even going to meet with anyone but Toronto come the start of free agency next Friday, reports Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
Source: DeMar DeRozan will focus on getting a deal done to return to the Raptors as free agency opens. No plans to meet with other teams barring the unforeseen development of talks breaking down the Toronto.
While there had been rumors and talking heads pushing his return to his native Los Angeles, DeRozan always has put Toronto first. And the Lakers weren’t going to overspend on him anyway.
DeRozan knows how to get to the rim and averaged 23.5 points a game last season in Toronto, which got him both on the All-Star team and now on the Olympic team for Rio. It also got Toronto to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time. He, along with fellow Team USA member Kyle Lowry, drive the Raptors offense. Yes, he needs to become more comfortable taking (and hitting) the three ball, but he’s still a guy who puts up points. Toronto needs him.
DeRozan is going to get a max or near max deal from the Raptors and they will figure this out quickly, GM Masai Uriji wants to keep him and will not mess around with the negotiations.