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Raptors Explain DeMar DeRozan’s Extension
Posted By Stephen Brotherston On November 1, 2012 @ 5:00 am In All,NBA | No Comments
The Toronto Raptors and DeMar DeRozan waited until just before game time on Wednesday to finally come to an agreement on a four-year, $40 million contract extension. DeRozan was in the fourth year of his rookie contract and if the two sides had failed to reach an agreement before the end of the day, the young wing player would have become a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
“I was to a point that I was ready if it didn’t and I was ready if it did,” DeRozan said. “It is a good thing that it’s out of the way.”
Nothing happens in Toronto any more without the agreement of Raptors head coach Dwane Casey and while Casey denies knowing any details, rest assured Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo would not have inked this deal if Casey wasn’t on board. Casey quickly identified DeRozan as one of his team’s core players going forward.
“I don’t know the specifics, [the deal] happened right before the game,” Casey said. “Congratulations to [DeRozan]. he has earned it. He is one of the core guys in our franchise. He is a young kid, 23, getting better every day and making big plays.
“He is growing. He has gotten bigger. He worked on his game in the summer and his future is in front of him. We talked before the game about his measuring stick as being efficient, getting to the free throw line and attacking the rim.”
This generous new contract is decidedly future-oriented and while Casey often talked about the things DeRozan needed to do to become a better player last year, this year he must have seen enough in preseason to believe DeRozan is going to become the player he needs him to be. Colangelo summed up the team’s view of their young wing and why this deal makes sense.
“DeMar has worked very hard and has been a significant part of the building process here in Toronto,” said Colangelo in a Raptors’ press release. “We view DeMar as a young, athletic and talented basketball player whose character fits what we are putting together.”
DeRozan recognizes his development is not complete and plans to continue with the strong work ethic that has won him the respect of Casey and Colangelo and earned him this contract extension.
“I went into the season looking at I have to be that much better than I was last year and come with much more in order to help this team win,” DeRozan said. “It’s a nice thing just knowing that I am here, that this is the place I am going to be. I can just concentrate on doing everything for this team and keep moving forward.
“It’s an honor for me. I am a loyal dude. For them to have the same passion in me is a great thing. I feel like I owe them all I can bring to the team.”
A contract extension for a player in the fourth year of their rookie contract is not a sure thing and there have been plenty of examples recently of teams using restricted free agency to set a particular player’s value and the risks that entails. The Raptors chose the safer route with DeRozan and locked him up with a four-year extension that they hope the young wing will outperform by the end of the term.
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