The start of NBA free agency is less than a month away with a few All-Star-caliber players set to hit the open market with the intention of signing lucrative long-term deals. Although the headlines will be dominated by the Kevin Durant sweepstakes on a daily basis this summer, there are a couple of players that will receive considerable interest around the league and may be a game-changer if they change teams.
According to Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com, Toronto Raptors star DeMar DeRozan will officially join the group of unrestricted free agents after opting out of his deal a few days ahead of the June 15 deadline:
Raptors G DeMar DeRozan has officially opted out and is a free agent, league sources informed @clevelanddotcom. His deadline was June 15.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 13, 2016
Following a historic run for the Raptors in the NBA playoffs, DeRozan seemed to make it clear he had no intention of leaving Toronto. The veteran guard had his fair share of ups and downs during the postseason but ended his year on a high note proving he’s worth the lucrative deal he will sign this summer.
As for other suitors in free agency, the Compton native has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers many times over the last few months. Before the end of the Raptors’ playoff run, the consensus around the league, if he chose to leave the Raptors, was that he’d head back home and wear purple and gold for the foreseeable future.
Although DeRozan may still test the free agent waters with the Lakers possibly being a potential suitor, it may be only a matter of time before the 26-year-old decides to re-sign with Toronto keeping their dynamic backcourt duo intact for a little while longer.