Toronto Raptors Rumors
Yet, DeRozan seemed taken aback by the line of questioning. He said he had not even thought about his likely free agency, which is hard to believe. Who could ignore the prospect of a giant raise? A few days removed from the queries, he got at the truth of the issue. “I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me. “Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”
“I know I can shoot it. It’s just me doing it every night,” DeRozan added. “If I go 0 for 5 one night, that don’t mean nothing. The next night I could go 3 for 5. I’m willing to shoot them. I was always so comfortable feeling like I can go to the basket, get fouled or create for everyone else. I need to make it easier on my teammates now, being able to catch and shoot.”
Now in Toronto in the early stages of training camp, he likes the way things are headed. “I have a good feeling about this year,” he said. “ It’s a good opportunity for me. It’s a good situation and I think I can help the team. They made me feel like I would be helping the team. They made me feel wanted.”
To be even eligible for an extension, DeRozan would have to decide to opt in to the final year of his current deal, a contract that woefully underpays him at about $10,050,000 next year, AFTER the new TV money kicks in and the cap goes up to north of $90 million. Unless he and his agent both suffer “episodes” that render them nincompoops, that ain’t happening. And if it did – and it won’t – under terms of the CBA, DeRozan would only be eligible for a two-year extension past 2016-17 with maximum annual raises of 7.5 per cent per year.