DeMar DeRozan has made no secret of his affection for Toronto, and he tells Michael Lee of The Washington Post that just because the Raptors have a history of star players leaving doesn’t mean he’ll follow suit. DeRozan is poised to turn down his player option worth only slightly more than $10MM and hit free agency this summer.
“One thing I never did was look at anybody else, what they did or what they followed, honestly,” DeRozan said to Lee. “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.”
See more from the Atlantic Division:
- Nets higher-ups were angry about the way former coach Lionel Hollins would pin blame on his players, sources tell Brian Lewis of the New York Post, and several sources who spoke with Andy Vasquez of The Record couldn’t identify a single player on the team who was fond of Hollins. Many players thought the coach talked down to them and found it hard to respect him because of that, Vasquez writes.
- Knicks GM Steve Mills is very much involved with player personnel in his role under team president Phil Jackson, as agents tell Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that Mills is the go-to guy when they talk to someone from the Knicks. James Dolan has done little meddling with Jackson around, and the team hasn’t had substantive talks regarding a Carmelo Anthony trade this year, Deveney adds.
- Nerlens Noel has long been a fan of Ish Smith, but the point guard has helped Jahlil Okafor‘s offensive game, too, observes Keith Bodner of Philadelphia magazine. The No. 3 overall pick has put up impressive numbers, albeit in a small sample size, since the Sixers traded for Smith on December 24th, as Bodner examines.