Top 15 NBA Free Agents: Demar DeRozan
Twelve o’clock in the morning of July 1st will mark the opening of what is shaping up to be a frenetic free agency period. The NBA landscape will be heavily decided on where Kevin Durant decides to play, whether that be back in Oklahoma City or elsewhere. Similar to last summer, there are big names on the market who are looking for a large payday and possibly a change of scenery. This is where DeMar DeRozan falls into place.
An All-Star in his own right and viewed as ‘The Man’ on the Toronto Raptors. He, along with Kyle Lowry helped Toronto make strides in the right direction. The Raptors had their most successful season in 2015-16 with 56 wins and made it to their first ever Eastern Conference Finals. They even would notch two wins against the eventual champions in the Cleveland Cavaliers.
DeMar DeRozan proved he was All-Star worthy by averaging 23.5 ppg (top ten scoring leader), 4.5 rpg, and 4.0 apg to have Toronto finish second in the East, one game behind Cleveland for first. Now he has a big decision to make. He’s a young star, that can improve whatever team he chooses to sign with as a free agent.
There will be plenty of teams that will be willing to open up their wallets to get a player of his caliber but there are true only two that have been in any serious consideration for his services. He can either stay with the Raptors or he can go to his home state of California and play for the Los Angeles Lakers. The case for him signing with the Lakers would be he would get a massive contract, he’d be in a larger market which would help him grow his brand, and he’d also be the undisputed leader of the team. As great as that all sounds, if Los Angeles fails yet again to attract more talent to the franchise, then he would be left without any help and would likely miss the playoffs in a overpowered Western Conference.
He has recently been on record saying that his focus is on resigning with the Raptors, and it’s the choice that makes the most sense. Toronto may not be the market that Los Angeles provides, but it does give him more on-court opportunities to be successful. The Raptors have improved each year and will likely continue this upward trend with him in the lineup. Barring a crazy turn of events, he’ll be a Raptor for years to come. However, we’ve seen crazier things happen and if contract talks fall through, you better believe teams will be knocking at his door to have him on their roster.