The downside of re-signing DeRozan for the Raptors, however, is it would tie up most of their flexibility to lock in a good – not great – player in an expensive contract. For all his abilities and his devotion to Toronto (not insignificant given the Raptors’ long history of losing players), DeRozan remains a largely inefficient scorer who can’t shoot the three and hoists an obscene volume of midrange jumpshots.
From a broader perspective, re-signing DeRozan for something close to the max would also cement a decent – but again, not great – roster. Cory Joseph, Kyle Lowry, DeMarre Carroll, Jonas Valanciunas and the aforementioned Ross all signed through 2017 for in excess of $7 million per player. That core – minus Carroll and Joseph – was bounced from the first round of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.
As it stands, the Raptors have $83.1 million in guaranteed contracts for the summer of 2016. If they re-sign DeRozan to the max, they’ll have no cap room to work with next summer. Keep in mind that the Raptors would have a huge hole at power forward to fill that summer, as Patrick Patterson is their lone option on the books. Re-signing DeRozan would likely mean another year of merely getting by with a patchwork power forward.
Nevertheless, the two sides remain amicable as they head into what’s essentially a contract year for DeRozan – which is a huge positive. But that relationship will be put to the test next season, and while the two sides feel positively about each other, re-signing for the long run might not make the most sense.
Read more: theScore