Is DeMar DeRozan a Free Agent Option for Dallas?
The season in Toronto ended on Friday night for the Raptors but the talk of the free agency for DeMar DeRozan is just beginning.
The Toronto Raptors exceeded all expectations this season and finished with the second best record in the Eastern Conference with a 56-26 record on the season. On the shoulders of their star backcourt, Toronto reached the Conference Finals where they lost to the Cavs in a six game series.
Kyle Lowry led the way on the season for Toronto by averaging 21 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds a game, but it was his backcourt counterpart that led the team in scoring averaging over 23 points a night.
DeRozan had a career year leading the Raptors as he put up career highs in point and assists while notably shooting his best percentage from behind the arc in his entire career at 33.8%.
Now his career year is over and the Raptors are out of the playoffs, the attention for both parties shifts drastically to his free agency and the money he is going to demand.
Seeking the max, DeRozan can obviously be offered more money and an extra year from Toronto, but Los Angeles will be hot on his heels. The Lakers are stacked with money and prepared to find another star to help transition into the post-Kobe era.
But could Dallas come calling?
Dallas goes into the offseason with as many questions as anyone. With over half the roster hitting free agency, the summer hinges first on the free agency of Chandler Parsons. Although Dallas and Parsons have been pretty vocal about a summer reunion, there is still a possibility of him leaving over the summer. If he does potentially leave, Dallas will be stuck with a TON of money to spend.
If Parsons left, would Dallas offer DeRozan the max? Could he fit beside Wesley Matthews on the wing and play small forward? What about his fit into Carlisle’s system?
Personally, I don’t want this to happen. Sure, if Dallas lost out on Parsons and other big fish in free agency and this was an option to stay competitive, I wouldn’t be completely opposed. But this is no where near a preference of mine for a couple of reasons.
First, I am not completely sold DeRozan is a star in this league. A “shooting guard” who shoots poorly (when he actually does shoot them) from behind the arc immediately becomes somewhat of a liability on the offensive end of the ball. Now his post up game and mid-range game is strong, but if I’m handing out max money to someone in the offseason, I want more than what he offers.
Second, I’m not sold on his fit not just to Wesley Matthews, but to the rest of the team. Dallas is a three point shooting team and putting DeRozan on this Dallas team would almost provide a Rajon Rondo type of effect on the offense with teams daring him to shoot.
If Parsons did in fact leave, I would expect Nicolas Batum and Harrison Barnes to be the next free agents to be chased by Dallas.
Next: Revisiting the 2009 NBA Draft
So if you are a DeRozan fan living in Dallas, I wouldn’t get your hopes up, but with Dallas and free agency, you never know what you’re going to get.