NBA rumors: DeMar DeRozan staying a Raptor

Sam Amick: DeMar DeRozan has decided to re-sign with the Toronto Raptors, @USATODAYsports has learned. Terms not finalized.

More on DeMar DeRozan Free Agency

Michael Grange: The Raptors meeting with DeRozan tomorrow as per @Chris Haynes; if needed Mavs, Sixers; Heat & Lakers will meet, according to sources.
Chris Haynes: Toronto granted first meeting with DeMar DeRozan in LA on July 1, sources tell @clevelanddotcom. Miami, Dallas, Philly, Lakers could follow.
Similarly Aaron Goodwin – DeRozan’s longtime agent – isn’t known as a Scott Boras type, who’s looking to extract every last dollar and willing to use every conceivable ounce of leverage to do so. When the Raptors were negotiating the four-year extension with DeRozan, Goodwin ultimately put the decision in his client’s hands, according to sources, recognizing that in the end it would be the player, not him, who would be living and working under the terms of the deal. And it’s important to note that the Raptors have a considerable advantage in being able to offer DeRozan the best deal. They can pay him the aforementioned $153 million over five years while any other team can only offer $114 million over four.
The good news, for DeRozan and the Raptors, is that Biyombo wants to come back. According to a person with knowledge of his situation, he will be patient as Toronto works things out with DeRozan as its top priority. Biyombo will have no shortage of suitors should the Raptors blink long enough to lose DeRozan, but there will be no immediate rush to seize the speediest deal.
William Justin Carr: Steve... Theoretically LAL could have room for 1 Max Player next season if LAL sign Whiteside and DeRozan THIS offseason? - Steve Kyler: DeMar DeRozan not likely taking meeting - his first goal is to re-sign with the Raptors.
The Raptors can offer DeRozan a five-year maximum contract worth $153 million with the salary cap at a projected $94 million. Other teams would be able to offer him a max deal of $114 million over four years. Toronto's decision-makers have made it clear that re-signing DeRozan, a southern California native whose name was often linked to the Los Angeles Lakers in speculation about this summer, is their top offseason priority.
Raptors GM Masai Ujiri updated the status of DeRozan in a guest appearance on Dean Blundell & Co., Thursday morning. “We’re nowhere because right now we cant (talk),” Ujiri told hosts Joey Vendetta and George Rusic on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. “Everything stops until July 1. So we’re still in the same place we were at the end of the season. We talked and had a good exit meeting. I will fly down to see DeMar at some point in the next couple of weeks to have a good chat with him and we’ll go from there.”
Chris Haynes: Raptors G DeMar DeRozan has officially opted out and is a free agent, league sources informed @clevelanddotcom. His deadline was June 15.
The Hawks’ number one priority is to bring back Horford, Kent Bazemore and possibly Kris Humphries as unrestricted free agents. They will also need to figure out their point guard situation - which means an almost assured trade of either Jeff Teague or Dennis Schroder. Those are the likely scenarios. However, there is a chance the Hawks could shoot for the stars and line up Horford with another max player such as Kevin Durant or DeMar DeRozan – likely the three players on the market who will get max deals.
With $69 million in guaranteed contracts, the Raptors are currently over the salary cap based on $28 million in free-agent holds, including DeRozan’s $15 million cap hold. If Toronto were to release the holds on free agents Scola, Johnson and Thompson, and leave the No. 26 pick in the draft in Europe, the Raptors still would be over the cap.
Eric Koreen: "We want to bring them back," Masai says of DeMar and Biyombo. "Sometimes those things are difficult or challenging."
As the NBA enters it’s bubble economy phase (the salary cap is expected to rise by more than $20 million this season and another $20 million the following year) DeRozan will be offered a maximum contract by at least one team – four years and roughly $107 million – and probably more. The NBA grapevine is rife with intelligence saying that his hometown Lakers will offer him the moon. No one would be surprised if Bryan Colangelo – the man who drafted him – will try to lure him to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Romeo would be the guy to ask ... he and DeRozan have been best friends for years, growing up together and playing college ball at USC. Check out the clip ... it's been reported DeMar wants to bolt the north for L.A. and Romeo adds to that fire ... hinting STRONGLY that he knows the Lakers are the right spot for his best pal.
The timing couldn't have been worse for DeRozan or the Raptors. With an Eastern Conference finals trip within their grasp, the team's All-Star shooting guard now has difficulty simply tying his shoe. "I’ve never been one of those guys to be like, ‘Why? Why did this happen, or why'd it happen now?’ It’s part of the game. You’ve got to take the good with the bad sometimes," DeRozan told The Vertical after Miami defeated Toronto 94-87 in overtime to even the series at two games each. "I’m going to fight through it, deal with it and go from there with it. I’ve got a whole summer to let it heal and figure itself out."
DeRozan (Raptors), Durant (Thunder) and LeBron (Cavaliers) are still under contract with other NBA teams, and they will be until July 1. Johnson is a Lakers Vice President. That’s clearly tampering. Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, an employee of an NBA team can’t permissibly “induce, persuade, or attempt to entice, induce or persuade, any Player who is under contract to, or whose exclusive negotiating rights are held by, any other Member of the Association to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services or negotiate or contract for such services.” Johnson often doesn’t sound like a Lakers executive, and the role is probably ceremonial. But Drake got the Raptors fined for recruiting Durant. Drake obviously isn’t integral to Toronto’s basketball operations. But he holds a title – Global Brand Ambassador – with the team. Why wouldn’t the same rule apply to Johnson?
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors: FA age: 26 | Salary: $9.5 million. Insider info: Will opt out of his current contract. He’s in the prime of his career. Has full Bird rights and Toronto can sign him to the projected max of $25 million per year. Strong chance he will be in a Raptors uniform next season.
Eastern Conference All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan says it will be "pretty tough" for interested teams to steal him away from the Raptors in free agency this summer. "My whole mindset has always been this is home for me," DeRozan said in an interview that will air in full on Saturday's Meet the All-Stars show on ESPN Radio at 5:30 p.m. "I never think otherwise unless it's brought up to me, or you see things, or people ask you about certain things. This has always been home to me. I took pride in putting on this Toronto Raptors jersey since I've been drafted here. And my whole goal was to get this team to the point where it is now. And I feel I've been a major key to that."
"He will be a free agent," Lowry told ESPN Radio. "That's the best thing for him to do. And for me as a friend, as a friend, and what he did for me during my free agency, I'll do the same thing. I will just listen and sit back. I won't give him no advice, and I won't push him anywhere. Because, as a friend, friendship comes before basketball, and that's my guy. Wherever he makes a decision to go -- and I'm hoping it's back here, which I think it's gonna be -- I won't push him or persuade him or anything. I'll just say: 'Hey, listen, bro. I'm here to listen to you.'"
He's read the tweets, as you might expect, and knows there are people out there that are making the 'contract year' implication. Does it surprise him? Nothing does, not anymore. His message to those folks: "Obviously you haven't been paying attention to me and how I've worked every single year of my career," he said. "And that's just me as a person. That just shows me at the end of the day nobody really knows who you are inside. As long as I know who I am inside. It's not about the money, it's not about this, it's about me wanting to be better every single year. I don't care if it's contract year or if I sign a deal for 20 years. It don't matter to me. Every single year, as long as I can run up and down the floor, I'm going to continue to get better."
Toronto is the NBA's fourth-largest market but playing in Canada has always meant dealing with a certain amount of obscurity that suits DeRozan just fine. The Raptors have been his only team in seven seasons, and DeRozan would like that to remain the case after he opts out of the final year of his four-year, $40 million contract and becomes a free agent this summer. Based on his All-Star caliber play through the first few months of this season, DeRozan will have no shortage of suitors, but Toronto can pay more than any other team – and DeRozan has taken to the place. “Toronto is all I’ve known, honestly. I came in, 19, everything was completely new for me. I appreciated the support, the love,” DeRozan, 26, told Yahoo. “I treated it like home since then.”
“One thing I never did was look at anybody else, what they did or what they followed, honestly,” DeRozan told Yahoo. “I always stuck to what I believe in and what I’m comfortable with. If I see a hundred people walking left, that don’t necessarily mean I’m going to walk left. I may see this clear path and want to stay right.” DeRozan has an advantage over his ship-jumping predecessors because the Raptors have never appeared more stable. They have one of the league's most well-regarded general managers in Masai Ujiri and a coach in Dwane Casey who has led the team to a franchise-record number of wins in each of the past two seasons. And DeRozan also has an all-star backcourt mate in Kyle Lowry, a good friend with whom he has formed an uncanny connection on the floor.
“My whole goal was to get us out of that light and become a winning team, a winning organization. From going to winning 20-someting games, to winning our division, franchise-record wins, that’s something you can definitely be happy for,” DeRozan told Yahoo. “It’s amazing to see how far it came. I remember [Toronto] being just a hockey town.” Having already outperformed the extension he received after his rookie deal expired, DeRozan cracked a smile when reminded of the criticism he received at the time. DeRozan made the All-Star team in the first year that his deal kicked in, quickly going from risky signing to underpaid bargain. “I just remember all the negativity and whatever came with it, then all a sudden, it’s like, ‘Aw, you should’ve waited,’ ” DeRozan told Yahoo. “Honestly, I could’ve signed for $500 million at that point, I still would’ve have had that hunger to want to get better and try to improve, and I feel I have to prove so much.”
That starts with DeRozan, a lock to decline his option and hit free agency this summer. A bunch of teams, including DeRozan's hometown Lakers, are prepared to offer him a max deal starting at $25 million per season, and the Raptors know they will have to spend big to keep him.
Ujiri also has to decide if Casey is the coach he wants, though both Lowry and DeRozan endorsed Casey's return in separate interviews with ESPN.com. "The grass ain't always greener," Lowry says. "I want him back, but it's not my decision."
“That’s one you thing you can never question: my loyalty to the city,” DeRozan told host Joey Vendetta on the Jeff Blair Show. “How much I really love and appreciate the team and the organization. I think all the fans understand that. A lot of times they don’t understand how contracts or things like that. But I’ve always stressed that this is where I want to be my whole career.”
“A new contract is what DeMar is going for and we feel we have a good shot,” Raptors GM Masai Ujiri said Thursday evening on Prime Time Sports. “This is his team, this is a team that he knows very well, loves the city, is well-loved here, and we can offer him a year extra. There are so many things, so we feel comfortable.”
While his hometown Lakers surely will be one of those suitors — they long have had interest in the swingman — DeRozan has always been fiercely loyal to the organization that drafted him, paid him what at the time was considered above market value on an extension (eventually it became one of the shrewdest bargains of then general manager Bryan Colangelo’s career) and made him the face of the franchise. He loves the city and the fanbase arguably much more than Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter or Chris Bosh ever did.
He loves the city and the fanbase arguably much more than Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter or Chris Bosh ever did. “I think I’m just excited for being in Toronto and people really getting a chance to see what Toronto is like,” DeRozan said Thursday after practice about his thoughts on the upcoming all-star weekend in T.O. “The city, the culture, really, to put us on the main stage and let this city get the credit that it deserves that I feel like it never got.”
The Nets will have about $40 million in cap space this summer, and they got an up-close look Wednesday at one of their primary expected targets: DeMar DeRozan. The Toronto shooting guard had 15 points, five assists, four boards and two steals in the Raptors’ 91-74 win at Barclays Center. He has a player option worth just more than $10 million for next season, but a source close to DeRozan told The Post that he will opt out, becoming a free agent. But that doesn’t guarantee he’ll be a Net, or anything other than a Raptor.
“I can tell you he’ll opt out. But how he feels about Brooklyn — or anybody else — I can’t say. Only he can answer that,’’ said the source, who added that DeRozan feels he’s been treated well by the Raptors and “has a trait that’s been lost by so many players. It’s called loyalty.”
It’s safe to say that if DeRozan had waited and signed a deal in restricted free agency the following summer (he averaged 18.1 points and 44.5 percent shooting that season), he would have been given a juicier contract. He made the Eastern Conference All-Star team the following year, and even if his efficiency has never returned, the shooting guard has more than made good on the Raptors' commitment. “I don’t regret anything,” DeRozan told Sporting News on Friday. “Everything happens for a reason, man. This is the place I wanted to be, so that’s where I wanted to be. I never second-guessed or thought twice about anything.”
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.”
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.
When asked about DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors all-star shooting guard who is expected to decline his player option at the end of the season , Ujiri said that the team will not renegotiate with DeRozan during the season. “There will be no extension talks with DeMar [before the end of the 2015-16 season],” Ujiri told Free Association. “He can only extend for a certain amount of money and I just foresee that DeMar sees himself- and we see him- as more than that type of a player. So I think DeMar is going to wait to see how it goes this year and do the best deal for himself, and we’ll do the best deal for ourselves, too.”
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Michele Roberts calls out Sixers GM Daryl Morey

In an exclusive statement to Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill, Roberts urged everyone to be respectful and supportive of Simmons as he works through a tough time. She also called out Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey’s comments about continuing this standoff with Simmons for the four remaining years of his contract. “Really? Is it so hard to believe that Ben’s not mentally at a place to compete? Professional athletes — like the rest of us — have difficult periods in our lives that require time and energy to heal. We have and will continue to provide Ben with the support and resources he needs to work through this. Threatening the prospect of ‘another four years’ serves no one’s interests. Like Tobias [Harris], I say let’s respect Ben’s space and embrace him while allowing him the time to move forward. “So, take a breath and count to 10: We are all too good to continue to play this perpetual game of chicken.”
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The Wizards then flipped a draft pick for Aaron Holiday and signed Spencer Dinwiddie as part of the trade. Kuzma put on his GM hat after Friday’s game to evaluate the deal in hindsight. “I mean, you gotta do that trade 10 out of 10 times. If you have an opportunity to get five good basketball players for one, it makes sense. Granted, [Westbrook is] obviously a Hall of Fame player and everything. He’s an unbelievable player, don’t take that wrong,” Kuzma said.
Mark Medina: Lakers coach Frank Vogel taking issue with Dwight Howard and Klay Thompson not being on NBA Top 75 list. Vogel called it “surreal” that LeBron, AD, Westbrook and Melo are all on the list

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