NBA Rumors: DeMar DeRozan playing his way to a max contract; Lakers convinced in signing Raptors star this offseason

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Mar 17, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Toronto Raptors forward DeMar DeRozan (10) takes a shot against Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Toronto defeats Indiana 101-94 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

DeMar DeRozan continues to have a respectable 2016 season and his latest performance in the playoffs are pointing to signs that he could earn the max contract this summer. NBA rumors have linked the Toronto Raptors star to the Los Angeles Lakers throughout the season as he will hit free agency this summer.

On Friday night in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Finals series versus the Cleveland Cavaliers, DeMar DeRozan top scored with 32 points on a very efficient 12 of 24 field goal shooting. DeRozan played 40 minutes for the Raptors, which got the big 99-84 win to give Toronto their first win in the best-of-seven series.

The Cavaliers still lead the East Finals, 2-1 but Game 4 is still in Toronto, where DeRozan can lead his team to another victory and tie the series before it returns to Cleveland for Game 5.

DeRozan also added 5 rebounds and 4 assists and had zero turnovers. What made his performance more impressive was that Cavaliers’ franchise player LeBron James guarded him most times and DeRozan showed he could handle the pressure by hitting the crucial shots when Cleveland was making a run.

DeMar DeRozan’s all-around brilliance complemented to great games from Bismack Biyombo, who had a franchise playoffs record of 26 rebounds and Kyle Lowry, who had 20 points and 6 assists.

These are the kind of performances that will be big for DeRozan if he wants to show the Raptors, or other NBA teams interested in free agency, that he is worthy of a maximum contract this summer.

DeMar DeRozan has a player option in his contract for the 2016-2017 season but it’s only worth $9.5 million. According to NBA rumors, DeRozan wants the salary increase after the current season and to get that he needs to explore free agency and join the likes of Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Nicolas Batum, Rajon Rondo, Mike Conley, Pau Gasol and Harrison Barnes in the free agent market.

One team that is keenly observing DeRozan this 2016 NBA Playoffs are the Los Angeles Lakers, who are looking to add two superstars in their line-up this summer. The Lakers has the salary cap to make it work and DeRozan could be one of the top targets.

It’s likely that Toronto will not let go of DeMar DeRozan in free agency after he has shown his worth in the NBA Playoffs. But with the appeal of the Lakers, NBA rumors will continue to hound DeRozan until he chooses his next NBA team or decides to stay with the Raptors.

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