Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan has officially opted out of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent, league sources informed Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link). The deadline for the decision is Wednesday.
It was a foregone conclusion that DeRozan would test the free agent market. DeRozan was due to make $10.35MM in the final year of his deal but he’ll be worth much more on the open market, considering his banner season. He made his second All-Star game while averaging a career-high 23.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists during the regular season. The 6’7” DeRozan even improved his subpar long-distance shooting to a respectable 33.8% in 3-point tries. DeRozan averaged 20.9/4.2/2.7 in the postseason as Toronto reached the Eastern Conference Finals before succumbing to the Cavaliers.
The Raptors are optimistic of keeping DeRozan, who expressed his desire to re-sign with the club during a post-playoff media session.
“My mindset has always been Toronto,” he said. “I always preached it. I was passionate about it when we was losing. When we was terrible, I said I’m 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 up after we win.”
Toronto GM Masai Ujuri said during his postseason press conference that retaining DeRozan is the team’s top offseason priority, though he deflected a question on whether DeRozan was worth a max deal.