The Toronto Raptors have been home to their fair share of NBA superstars in the past, however; in the teams 17 year history they have never made it past the Conference Semifinals (2000/01 season) and haven’t made it into the post-season since the 2007/008 season.
The most recent ugly exit from Toronto was by Chris Bosh who left abruptly in pursuit of a Championship ring and joined the Miami Heat with his friends Dwayne Wade and LeBron James. An understandable move that didn’t completely shock all Toronto Raptors fans, but certainly left us with a big hole in our hearts.
The Toronto Raptors were abandoned by the one player they were building the franchise around, at least that’s how the fans saw it.
DeMar DeRozan watched it all unfold before his eyes as a young player on the Raptors line-up. I think it’s safe to assume that DeMar DeRozan saw how the decision of Bosh affected the rest of his team and how it affected the fans and it seems like he wants to be different, like he genuinely wants to see Toronto succeed.
At the end of the day, I have been here through the (down period), I just want to be here when things turn around,” DeRozan explained. “I think it’s about that time. I just want to be here and be a part of the success in Toronto.
DeRozan signed a new contract worth $38 million over four-years. He tweeted the following picture and announced the news:
[tweet https://twitter.com/DeMar_DeRozan/status/264069968256176128 align=’center’]
Some people out there were critical of the Raptors decision to sign DeRozan to a new four-year, $38 million deal and Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo was quick to defend the decision.
Bryan Colangelo stated:
I’m charged with making this team better and getting assets and retaining assets. We’ve successfully retained an asset now … You’ve got to keep this thing rolling in a pattern of acquiring pieces that you think are pieces of a puzzle,
He continued to say:
There are roughly 10 teams, let’s say, that will have significant cap space, and would have been potential suitors for a dynamic wing player like DeMar DeRozan. By taking care of this now, we secured him at a number that we feel is the right value. Based on due diligence, based on where we see DeMar today and where we see him in the future, we feel like the value of the deal is an appropriate one and we acted on it.
DeMar DeRozan wants to be a key part of turning around the Toronto Raptors and is committed to the franchise and the city of Toronto. It’s difficult to find talented players who actually WANT to play for the city of Toronto. It’s the only Canadian NBA team left and for some players, enduring a Canadian winter is not something they have any interest in doing.
Lets face it, the weather in LA or Miami is much more appealing than what we see here in Toronto. I’m sure Chris Bosh would agree he will not miss the Toronto weather.
Colangelo understands he needs to embrace a talented player like DeRozan who WANTS to stay in Toronto and wants to contribute and make the team better. He said the following in regards to DeRozan wanting to play in Toronto:
Not only do we want him, but he wants to be here. That’s important to me. That’s important to the organization. It’s an important message to send that we’ve got a nice fit and we want to retain our players that work hard and show signs of promise. We feel by no means that he has reached his ceiling. Upside is a commodity in this business, and we definitely think that this is a wise investment.