DeMar DeRozan will not meet with the Lakers or any other team besides Toronto when NBA free agency opens July 1, according to an ESPN.com report. DeRozan, an unrestricted free agent, is focused on re-signing with the Raptors and will consider other teams only if negotiations break down with the Raptors.
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The report is consistent with what DeRozan said the day after Toronto was eliminated from the NBA Playoffs by the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals.
“My mindset has always been Toronto,” DeRozan said then. “I’ve always preached it. I was passionate about it when we were losing, when we were terrible. I said I was going to stick through this whole thing, and I want to be that guy who brings this organization to where it is now. I definitely don’t want to switch that up after we win.”
The Raptors won a franchise-high 56 games this past season, good for the No. 2 seed in the East.
Toronto has maintained that bringing back DeRozan — who led the team in scoring in 2015-16 with 23.5 points per game — is its top offseason priority.
Under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, the Raptors can offer DeRozan a bigger and longer contract that any other team. DeRozan’s potential max deal with Toronto would be worth an estimated $153 million over five-years, while his max deal elsewhere would be about $114 million over four years.