DeMar DeRozan again indicated that it would be unlikely for him to sign elsewhere this summer, Marc Stein of ESPN.com relays. DeRozan is poised to turn down his player option worth only slightly more than $10MM and hit free agency this summer, but he has made it clear on several occasions that he prefers to stay with the Raptors. The Lakers, however, are ready to make a maximum-salary offer to him.
“My whole mindset has always been this is home for me,” DeRozan said. “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.”
Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:
- Point guard Ish Smith has been credited with helping to improve things with the Sixers and teammate Nerlens Noel doesn’t want to see the soon-to-be free agent leave this summer, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “He has to come back,” Noel said. “He has to. He’s an important piece to this and why we are so playing so well these past couple of months. And he’s helped us at the point guard position, you know, just setting guys up in the post position. So he’s got to come back.” The Sixers were 1-30 before they acquired Smith from the Pelicans in late December. They are 7-15 since the trade. Sixers team executive Jerry Colangelo was non-committal recently about Smith’s future with the team beyond this season.
- Carmelo Anthony said he was shocked when he learned the Knicks had fired coach Derek Fisher, Marc Berman of the New York Post details. “We were all surprised,’’ Anthony said. “This was something, I really don’t know if it was a quick decision or if it was lingering. Nobody wants to lose their coach, especially some of the young guys. This is an experience they have to go through. For me, having to keep those guys intact, keep them in line, and let them know it happens. Unfortunately it’s happening to us right now.”