Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers are the two teams most interested in signing Toronto Raptors guard DeMar Derozan to a max contract next off-season.
DeRozan plans to opt out of his $10 million contract next season and seek a fresh max deal. According to several sources, the Brooklyn Nets are planning to pursue DeRozan’s services.
“I can tell you he’ll opt out. But how he feels about Brooklyn — or anybody else — I can’t say. Only he can answer that,’’ said a source, who added that the two-guard has enjoyed his sting with the Raptors and possesses “a trait that’s been lost by so many players. It’s called loyalty.”
DeRozan has plenty of reason to be loyal to the Raptors. This season, he has been positioned as the franchise player and is expected to make the All-Star game in Toronto next month. DeRozan, averaging 22.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, is in the midst of his best-ever season.
The Nets will have about $40 million in cap space next summer. With the contracts of Joe Johnson and Deron Williams (traded to Dallas Mavericks) coming off the books, the Nets will have enough flexibility to offer DeRoZan a max contract.
Until last season, DeRozan was viewed as a role player and supporting act for Kyle Lowry. However, many GMs around the league have changed their outlook of the California native. Several GMs are confident to build their team around Derozan.
DeMar DeRozan stands to double his income next summer. Therefore, it is a no-brainier for him to opt out of his existing contract and pursue a new deal. The only question is: Will he return to Toronto or pursue greener pastures elsewhere?