DeMar DeRozan is one of the All-Stars available in free agency this 2016 offseason. However, NBA rumors reveal that the Toronto Raptors wing man will stay with the Canadian team. This came after reports disclosed his decision to not meet with other NBA teams at the early part of free agency. For the part of the Raptors, they must agree to a maximum deal to keep DeRozan.
DeRozan, who is the leader of the Raptors in scoring and their offense in the last three seasons, is expected to demand the max salary. Earlier NBA rumors have linked the guard/forward to other NBA teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.
Both the Lakers and Knicks can offer DeRozan a maximum deal but the Raptors can offer him the full max deal and a longer contract. There are NBA rumors that Raptors might not give him the full max and the West and East teams’ will wait on the chance to steal the All-Star in free agency.
General manager Masai Ujiri stated after the 2016 NBA Playoffs that the Raptors’ priority is re-signing their No. 1 star and with a statement of DeRozan it looks like he’ll be staying in Canada for the long-term.
“My mindset has always been Toronto. I’ve always preached it. I was passionate about it when we were losing, when we were terrible. I said I was 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 that up after we win,” DeRozan said to ESPN after his Raptors were eliminated by eventual champions Cleveland Cavaliers in six games in the East Finals.
DeRozan is expected to earn over $150 million with a five-year contract in Toronto. The only way DeRozan and the Raptors part ways if the team won’t offer him that max deal and if Toronto turns in a low-ball offer.
In this case, the NBA rumors of the Lakers and Knicks offering him a max deal might come true with the offer of playing for a large and more popular market team like New York and Los Angeles coming into play in DeRozan’s decision-making in free agency.