After a seven-year stint with the Toronto Raptors, DeMar DeRozan is hitting the free agent market for the first time in his young career. Coming off one of the best seasons in his career, and a decent run in the playoffs, DeRozan is one of the top players on the list of available free agents. He does need to work on getting his three-pointers to fall, but DeRozan is still a formidable shooting guard that will help his future team make possible playoff runs. While DeRozan doesn’t plan to meet with any team besides the Raptors this off-season, there is a possibility that he could be in another uniform next season. These are the top three teams that DeRozan would fit best in.
3. Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics have a young team, with only one starter, Amir Johnson, having over five years experience. While the team may be young, they already have a top ten defense. What needs improvement is the Celtics’ offense. Boston has a decent offense, with Isaiah Thomas leading the team with 22.2 points per game. Boston lacks consistency, however, and that is where DeRozan would lend his talents. Paired with Thomas, the Celtics could potentially have two players who average over 20 points per game. Add in Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley, and the Celtics could have an offense to bring them back to the playoffs and past the first round.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Who is going to be the next superstar for the Lakers after Kobe Bryant’s historic exit? It could be DeRozan, who was born and raised in Los Angeles. DeRozan could be the hometown hero, taking the Lakers back to the playoffs and restoring them to their former glory. Since DeRozan is only 26 years old, fans, teammates, and coaches would have this young superstar on their team for years to come. The only thing about the Lakers is that they don’t really have any other supporting players to help DeRozan. The team has a decent offense but almost no defense to speak of. Even with DeRozan’s improved defense, the team needs more pressure to keep opponents from shooting three and taking the ball inside of the paint. DeRozan could help encourage this young group of players and teach them what Raptors head coach, Dwane Casey, had taught him on defense. It would take time, but if DeRozan has the patience, he can take his hometown team back to the playoffs and just maybe win a championship.
1. Toronto Raptors
DeRozan has expressed how much he wants to stay in Toronto. He has been there his whole career and has a chance to make it back to the playoffs again next season. He has grown with this team and already has developed chemistry with his teammates, like Kyle Lowry. It would be disastrous for the franchise if they lost DeRozan, just as they are on the verge of making it into the Finals and giving the city its first NBA championship. DeRozan feels like Toronto is his home now, and wants to give back to the city that took a chance on drafting him seven years ago. The team is developed, the team has playoff experience, and it would be the best place for DeRozan to stay.