In a summer with several high profile moves and record breaking contracts, DeMar DeRozan somehow managed to slide under the radar with his 5 year, $139 million extension with the Toronto Raptors. That’s partially because he signed the extension the first day he could without even talking to another team.
DeRozan is a native of Compton, and as such drew a lot of interest from both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. Homecomings have become popular ever since LeBron went back to Cleveland, with Dwight Howard, Jeff Teague and Dwyane Wade all returning to their hometown teams this year. But DeRozan didn’t even consider the possibility because he wants to be a Raptors legend. Via The Undefeated:
“Yeah, of course,” DeRozan told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. At the end of the day, the Lakers are the Lakers. I grew up a Lakers fan. Kobe [Bryant] was my favorite player growing up. I didn’t miss a game as a kid. Just to have the opportunity was amazing. I watched one of my favorite players create a legacy of his own and leave his mark there.”
“He left his own mark there. It will always be there. I want to leave my own mark in Toronto.”
DeRozan also said he didn’t want to waste anyone’s time when he knew he wanted to stay in Toronto.
“That’s just me,” he said. “If I knew where I wanted to be from the beginning… I didn’t want to waste anybody’s time and just hear somebody else talk or say something when I know in the back of my mind that I want to do something else. As long as that something else was mutual, there was no point of me doing anything else.”
“I don’t want to waste anybody’s time. I didn’t want to give false hope if I knew what I felt inside was right. And that was me going back.”
It’d be hard not to leave. The Raptors are one of the best teams in the East, and DeRozan is playing some unbelievable ball this year with the team. He’s averaging 30.9 points a game on the season so far, and shows no signs of slowing down. He’s even considered the notion that he might become one of the best players in Raptors history.
“Without a doubt. No question,” said DeRozan. “How many people get to say they hold one record for an organization, or were on the winningest team in Raptors history, or did this with one organization? All of those things last longer than your playing career.”