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.
NetsDaily: Who do Nets like as FAs? DeRozan, but also Nicolas Batum, Mike Conley Jr, Evan Turner. Don't be surprised to see J.P. Vaulet in Brooklyn.
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.
Ryan Wolstat: DeRozan said he hasn't given any thought to new contract or possible final year with Raptors. Just going to play
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.”
December 7, 2021 | 8:26 pm EST Update
Upon further examination, a CT scan revealed that Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has a pneumothorax (right lung), the team announced today. McCollum sustained the injury during the 4th quarter of Portland’s game versus Boston on December 4. He will be further evaluated before a prognosis is determined and his status will be updated accordingly.
Casey Holdahl: In more injury news, Anfernee Simons (right ankle), Ben McLemore (left hip), Nassir Little (left ankle) and Cody Zeller (right quad) are questionable while CJ McCollum (right pneumothorax) and Damian Lillard (abdominal tendinopathy) are out for Wednesday’s game vs. Golden State.
Jason Anderson: The Kings are listing Harrison Barnes (foot) and Maurice Harkless (knee) as questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Orlando Magic. Neemias Queta (G League), Jahmi’us Ramsey (G League) and Robert Woodard II (G League) are out.
Mark Medina: Clippers list Nicolas Batum as questionable for tomorrow’s game vs Celtics. He’s cleared NBA health and safety protocols, but status uncertain amid conditioning concerns
Jovan Buha: When asked about his job security, Frank Vogel said he’s not worried and that he believes he has management’s support. He said he hasn’t spoken to Rob Pelinka about how the Lakers’ 12-12 affects his job status.