Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
DeMar DeRozan confirmed, in his postgame remarks, that his contract extension with the Raptors was reached prior to the tip of this game. There had been several reports on the terms of the deal. It is a four-year contract extension for somewhere between $40-44 million. Michael Dunlop one of our writers here on Bleacher Report, is going with $42 million based on a report from Mark Spears from Yahoo! in his article.
He also sees this as a horrible move for the Raptors. This was the universal response on my Twitter timeline.
He makes valid points in his piece and there is no question that what he is saying makes sense. Still, allow me to bring up some other things to consider from he perspective of someone who has lived and died with this team for now 18 seasons.
First of all, this is a pet peeve of mine. Is it so wrong to at least take a minute and be happy for this young man? He works hard and he is a good young man who has always been great to deal with, as someone that covers the team. These players, from James Harden to anyone else, only have a certain amount of time to play this game.
Make no mistake, if any of them gets hurt and they are no longer useful, teams and fans would toss them to the curb. It is in their best interest to make as much as they can in the short and uncertain lifespan that an NBA career can have.
Secondly, people have complained and moaned about all the guys that have left the Raptors behind. Here is a young man, that has determined he wants to remain and instead of being happy people complain he is being paid too much. You are trying to have it both ways are you not?
If you want players to stay, than you want them to stay. If you are concerned with your team’s cap situation, than you have to accept that players are expendable.
My last point would be that perhaps the Raptors have changed their overall approach to building their franchise. They do have new ownership and change in their spending philosophy could be possible. When you consider that the Raptors find themselves in a division with three teams that have little issue going beyond the tax threshold, maybe the Raptors have decided to make it four?
If that is the case, retaining talent should be the priority. The Raptors have not had much luck in terms of free agency, so to keep their own drafted talent and be willing to make trades to build their franchise might be the way to go.
Having said all of this, I really need to get an agent like DeMar DeRozan. He did an excellent job for his client.
People had a similar feeling when Andrea Bargnani signed his extension. Is this a big risk? Yes, it is, but the Raptors obviously feel confident in the young man they have invested in.