It appears DeMar DeRozan wants to stay in Toronto. The Raptors shooting guard isn't planning to meet with any team other than the Raptors when free agency begins on July 1, instead focusing on resigning with the team he helped lead to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
DeRozan, heading into his eighth season, is coming off the best year of his career. The All-Star averaged 23.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and four assists per game as the Raptors had the best season in the history of the franchise.
Entering free agency, multiple teams reportedly expressed interest in the 26-year-old -- including the Los Angeles Lakers -- but it appeared the Raptors were always the front runners.
"My mindset has always been Toronto," DeRozan told reporters after the Cleveland Cavaliers eliminated the Raptors from the playoffs.
Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri had the same idea with DeRozan. "Our No. 1 goal is to bring DeMar back here," Ujiri told reporters following the season. "We feel great that he wants to come back to our organization."
Likely receiving a maximum contract, DeRozan could be offered a five-year deal worth $153 million. If he decided not to go with the Raptors, the most any team could offer him would be a four year, $114 million deal. Ujiri was hesitant to say he would offer DeRozan a max contract following the season, but it's likely they'll be paying their All-Star to stay in Toronto.
The Raptors have other question marks heading into free agency. Not only do they want to bring DeRozan back, but they'll also have to figure out a plan for Bismack Biyombo, who excelled in the playoffs and will be demanding more money.
It appears, however, that bringing DeRozan back is nearly a lock. It's a nice start to free agency for a team hoping to make another jump next season.
John Wall wasn't a fan of the KD2DC movement
While many Washington fans hoped Durant would return close to his hometown in his next NBA stop, the Wizards point guard isn't so sure. In fact, he thinks the Wizards faithful cheering for Durant could have soured the star's view of Washington.
"Every day, everybody said KD-to-DC, coming to our games wearing all the Kevin Durant stuff, he didn't like it at that time because you should cheer for the team that you got," Wall told CSNmidatlantic.com on Sunday. "That might sway him."
Wall thinks the team not making the playoffs won't help, either. "If he feels like he can win a championship here, so be it. If not, he probably won't come," Wall said. "The way this season went might play into it. ... I think it's early (in the process). Everybody knew the teams he was going to meet with early on, Warriors, Spurs, but after that you got to figure it out. But if you don't have a shot you have to move on."
The Wizards won't be silent in free agency this summer, though. They have the budget to go after a big name, even if it won't be the superstar they hoped.
The Cleveland Cavaliers plan to keep the band together
Fresh off an NBA Finals win, the Cleveland Cavaliers won't be making many changes this offseason. "We intend to keep this group together and see what we're capable of," Cavaliers GM David Griffin told ESPN Radio on Sunday. LeBron James and J.R. Smith will be free agents this summer, but both are expected to come back, but Griffin's comments were most likely speaking to Kevin Love, who was the subject of much trade speculation when the Cavaliers were down 3-1 to the Golden State Warriors. Now that they're NBA Champions, bringing back Love rather than trading him away seems to be the course the Cavaliers are taking. While every team has it's flaws -- Love struggled defensively for much of the playoffs, but did come up huge against Stephen Curry down the stretch of Game 7 -- it's hard for a team to break up its core following a championship season. The Cavaliers appear to be staying with what worked.