Prior to yesterdays game against the Indiana Pacers, GM Brian Colangelo and the Toronto Raptors signed 23-year-old shooting guard DeMar DeRozan to a 4-year, $38 million dollar contract extension.
DeRozan has spent his entire 4-year career with the Raptors organization. He averaged 16.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 63 games last season.
Grade The Deal: C +
It has to be a little reassuring to know that DeRozan willingly wanted to stay in Toronto for the next 4 years, especially considering the amount of talent (Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Chris Bosh) that has left the confides of the city to play elsewhere with more successful franchises.
Still, this deal leaves me scratching my head just a bit.
Wouldn’t it have been wiser to wait until the end of the season when DeMar becomes a restricted free-agent to resign him to a new deal?
He wasn’t going to leave. As a restricted free-agent, Toronto had the right to match any offer that came his way. They could have waited out the season, seen what kind of production and improvement DeRozan gave the team, and then made a decision from there.
By signing him this early, the Raptors pretty much completed a bidding war…..against themselves. It was unnecessary, at least at this point and time.
DeRozan is a good basketball player, but he isn’t great. Only two players in the NBA attempted as many shots as DeMar with a worse shooting percentage. Those two players are DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings and Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks, both of whom are more prolific and established scorers.
He’s still not consistent with his jump shot and his perimeter defense leaves little to be desired. He did improve his overall physique over the offseason. DeRozan looks like he’s added some muscle, which will help him a great deal competing against much larger and quicker guards and forwards.
Is he worth that kind of money? As of right now, I’m not sure. The season is young and DeMar could very well have that breakout season we’ve all been waiting for. Colangelo paid him as if he’s going to do that.
I’m not as upset with the dollar amount as I am with the timing of the entire deal.
The Raptors should have waited.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports