DeRozan on future with Raptors: ‘This is where I want to be’

DeMar DeRozan discusses how he’s been playing, his perspective and excitement for the All-Star Game in Toronto, and his support of Raptors 905 at Thursday’s practice in Washington D.C.

Following the best stretch of basketball of his career, DeMar DeRozan’s future with the Toronto Raptors has been a popular discussion point this week.

The all-star guard is expected to opt out of his contract at the end of the season in order to become a free agent, but DeRozan continued to maintain his stance regarding his appreciation for the city of Toronto in a guest appearance on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Friday morning .

“That’s one you thing you can never question: my loyalty to the city,” DeRozan told host Joey Vendetta on the Jeff Blair Show. “How much I really love and appreciate the team and the organization. I think all the fans understand that. A lot of times they don’t understand how contracts or things like that. But I’ve always stressed that this is where I want to be my whole career.”

DeRozan, 26, has spent his entire NBA career with the Raptors after the club selected him ninth overall in the 2009 NBA Draft.

“Since Day One in Toronto, I’ve been so prideful of the city and the country.”

The California native has developed into one of the best guards in the Eastern Conference, coming off the most productive scoring months of his career in which he averaged 25 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.3 points while shooting just over 47 per cent in December of 2015.

While DeRozan projects to command a max contract if he hits the free-agent market, the Raptors believe they are well positioned to keep the star guard in Toronto for the long-term.

“A new contract is what DeMar is going for and we feel we have a good shot,” Raptors GM Masai Ujiri said Thursday evening on Prime Time Sports. “This is his team, this is a team that he knows very well, loves the city, is well-loved here, and we can offer him a year extra. There are so many things, so we feel comfortable.”