Teams planning on making at run at unrestricted free agent DeMar DeRozan may need to rethink their strategy this offseason. The shooting guard has no plans to meet with any other teams besides the Raptors when the free agent signing period commences in July, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reports (ESPN Now link). The only way the swingman will expand his free agent search is in the event talks completely break down between himself and the organization, MacMahon adds.
DeRozan, who was due to make $10.35MM in the final year of his deal, opted out of his contract earlier this month. The 26-year-old made his second All-Star game this season while averaging a career-high 23.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists. The player even improved his long-distance shooting to a respectable 33.8% from beyond the arc. DeRozan averaged 20.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in the postseason as Toronto reached the Eastern Conference Finals before falling to the Cavaliers.
The Raptors are reportedly 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 did deflect a question on whether DeRozan was worth a max deal.