The Toronto Raptors announced that they locked up swing-man DeMar DeRozan to a four year, 38 million dollar deal that could be worth 42 million dollars with incentives. The incentives likely mean DeRozan receives the extra pay day if he makes the all-star team or something along those lines. If that was the case, then DeRozan would certainly be outperforming his contract and I would have no problem with the Raptors paying him 42 million dollars.
Analysts are criticizing the Raptors for throwing this much money at DeRozan, claiming that he’s a limited player offensively, and a liability defensively.
The fact of the matter is, DeRozan’s mid-range shot was one of the better percentages in the league last season, and he gets to the line efficiently. When you re-sign a 23 year old with upside that averaged 16.7 points per game and is only going to get better, you are going to pay premium dollar.
Looking at players such as Eric Gordon and James Harden receiving max contract deals, DeRozan’s contract remains on par. It is hard to argue that DeRozan’s current fair market value is below 9.5 million dollars per year and the Raps paying Landry Fields nearly 7 million per year certainly doesn’t help the case of diminishing his value.
If DeRozan breaks out this season, it is likely that teams would have thrown even more money at him, putting the Raptors in a tough position on whether to match or not. This way, DeRozan gets his current fair market value and could turn out to exceed that, making him a bargain. The only way this deal wouldn’t be optimal was if DeRozan regressed as a player, which is very unlikely.
Bryan Colangelo made the right move in extending DeRozan now. Up and coming shooting guards aren’t exactly a common commodity, and it is likely that another team would have thrown a ridiculous amount of money next offseason to acquire DeRozan, forcing the Raptors into a situation similar to the New York Knicks‘ Jeremy Lin situation. If this occurred and DeRozan walked, the Raptors would have lost him for nothing.
Simply put, the Raptors cannot afford to lose young assets for nothing, and DeRozan has performed at a high enough level and shown enough upside to warrant a contract of this size, and comparing the contract to the market value for a player of his caliber, this isn’t a bad deal at all.
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