Free agency begins on July 1 across the NBA but players are already prepping their summer plans. DeMar DeRozan — one of the biggest names becoming an unrestricted free ageny in a few short days — is focused on re-signing with the Toronto Raptors, reports Tim McMahon of ESPN.
DeRozan, a Los Angeles native, could be a coveted target for teams looking to add a 26-year old two-time All-Star to their wings. He averaged a career-high 23.5 points per game for the Raptors in his seventh season with the franchise, leading them to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Raptors can offer DeRozan a five-year contract worth $153 million, while other teams can only offer him $114 million over four years. Signing a maximum-level contract with the Raptors is DeRozan's most lucrative option, and he plans on holding off meeting with other teams unless discussions with Toronto break down, according to McMahon's sources.
Unless a breakdown occurs, it appears DeRozan is set to stand his ground in Toronto, where he's spent his entire career. The Lakers have been linked to big men Al Hoford and Hassan Whiteside heading into free agency, but DeRozan could have still been an option to add veteran depth and proven talent to their perimeter rotation in front of their young talent.