HoopsHype DeMar DeRozan rumors

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DeRozan insists that he and the other Raptors are not gripped by fears of Who's Next? The latest indications in circulation actually are that he’s not being overtly shopped, but the 24-year-old says he hasn't gone to Ujiri to ask if he is or isn't being made available to other teams. ESPN.com

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But Sunday, after another frustrating loss — the third straight for Toronto at home — DeRozan took charge in another way. By calling out his team, albeit somewhat gently. DeRozan, who scored 17 points in the loss (the first time in the past five games he hasn’t led the Raptors in scoring), let his frustrations bowl over. And though his tone was measured and his comments delivered almost in a whisper, the message was clear. “I’m frustrated, period,” said DeRozan, who also picked up seven rebounds and four assists. “Just losing at home, man. I mean, I hate it. I hate it with a passion and we just have to figure it out and turn it around on the road.” Toronto Sun

“It don’t matter where we’re playing man, if we’re home or away. We have to understand that we have to go out there and play hard (all the time),” added DeRozan, who was singularly unimpressed that his team squandered a 15-point first quarter lead. “It doesn’t matter what stage we’re playing on. We’ve just got to go out there and win. We just have to do what our assignments are every night.” Toronto Sun

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Though the Rudy Gay/DeMar DeRozan combo has been derided in some quarters as selfish, the team-bonding appears to be working as everybody has seemed fine with the fact the pair takes the vast majority of the squad’s shots. “Those guys are going to take shots, they’re going to miss shots and they’re going to make shots. At the end of the day, they’re our go-to guys and we’re going to ride on them, we’re going to support them no matter what happens,” Lowry said pre-game. “I don’t care if anybody says anything bad about them, those guys can play together. So when they play good together, what do people say? It’s a give and take, it’s always this and that so for me personally it’s easy because I know those guys are going to make shots and they’re going to come through when we need them to come through.” Toronto Sun

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Not surprisingly, swingman DeMar DeRozan agreed with Casey on the subject of tanking. “I mean, I’m tired of losing so that ain’t an option for me,” DeRozan said. “I’ve been here long enough and we’ve had losing seasons. For me personally, I’m tired of that. I just got to go out there, do my job, do whatever I have to do to help us win.” Toronto Sun

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Those two players alone were responsible for about a third of the team’s points after the trade deadline last season, and DeRozan’s scoring ability was a huge reason the team extended him last summer for four years and $38 million. That move was made at a time when the team believed he’d be their primary scorer, but even though he’s the secondary guy now, he’s still happy to have long-term security in a city he loves. “This is where I wanted to be,” DeRozan said. “I wanted to be in Toronto long-term. I’ll definitely stick it through. One thing that I’ve been trying to do this summer is just working, getting ready for next season, coming around the team, being with the coaches trying to see what we can get better at next season and continue still being me as a player.” HoopsWorld

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The Clippers, though, have been lukewarm on Toronto's pitches so far, sources say. The Raptors have been openly shopping out-of-favor forward Andrea Bargnani and have likewise pitched a trade scenario in which L.A. would receive both Bargnani and shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, but sources say that new Clippers coach Doc Rivers -- who was also named senior vice president of basketball operations -- continues to express interest in not only hanging onto Bledsoe but also keeping center DeAndre Jordan. ESPN.com

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