NBA: Toronto Raptors Shooting Guard DeMar DeRozan Opts Out Of Contract, Set To Become An Unrestricted Free Agent

The Toronto Raptors had a historic season. The team made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in the NBA Playoffs. Throughout the year there were talks about the pending free agency of their star shooting guard. According to Sports Illustrated, DeMar DeRozan decided to decline his player option. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The former USC Trojans star had one of the best years of his career. There will be plenty of teams in the National Basketball Association that will be interested in signing DeRozan to their teams.

Coming into this season, many people were wondering if DeMar DeRozan is worthy of a maximum contract. The All-Star proved to all his doubters that they were wrong. DeRozan helped lead the Toronto Raptors to a franchise record in wins in a season. He also had one of his best years since joining the NBA. DeRozan averaged 23.5 points, four assists, 4.5 rebounds, and one steal per game. He had a career high in points, three-point percentage, and free throw percentage.

Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri
After the Toronto Raptors were eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Playoffs, DeMar DeRozan spent some time talking to the media. He stated to the media that he still has some unfinished business with the Raptors. The All-Star also talked about how proud he was to be with the team. It sounds like DeRozan is hinting that he would like to resign with the Raptors this upcoming summer. If he were looking to play elsewhere next season, you wouldn’t be able to tell from that interview.

The Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri stated to the media that DeMar DeRozan will be the team’s top priority. It sounds like both sides have mutual interest in sticking together for the next several years. The starting salary for DeRozan is an estimate of $25 million.

Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton
According to Hoops Hype, DeMar DeRozan is the fifth best player available in free agency this summer. He is the top player at his respected position. With that being said, DeRozan could be one of the most sought out free agents. Plenty of teams would love to sign a talent like DeRozan to their team. He is only 26 years old. The All-Star will turn 27 in August. He is in the prime of his career.

One of the rumors that started swirling around DeMar DeRozan was that he wanted to return to his hometown next season. Two teams come to mind. They are the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers. There is low chance that DeRozan will sign with the Clippers because they wouldn’t be able to offer him anywhere near the maximum contract.

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry
The Los Angeles Lakers will have plenty of money to throw around this summer. They could offer DeMar DeRozan the maximum contract. If he does decide to sign with the Lakers, he will become the face of their franchise. The Lakers are starting a new era next season. For the first time in 20 years, there will be no Kobe Bryant on the team. They also decided to part ways with Byron Scott. The Lakers hired Golden State Warriors assistant head coach Luke Walton. He is a former player for the Lakers. They also have the second overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft.

DeMar DeRozan is officially set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Plenty of teams in the NBA will be looking to sign him to their team. No one knows at this moment what DeRozan plans on doing next season. From what he told the media, the All-Star plans on sticking around with the Raptors. We will just have to wait and see when free agency starts.

[Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images]