DeMar DeRozan called his contract extension an honour, but one he hadn’t had much time to let sink in.
The Toronto Raptors agreed to terms on an extension with the swingman ahead of Wednesday’s midnight deadline, and just before the Raptors’ 90-88 loss to the Indiana Pacers in the season-opener for both teams.
“It’s a nice thing just knowing that I’m here, this is the place I’m going to be,” DeRozan said.
According to sources, the 23-year-old from Compton, Calif., agreed to terms on a four-year deal worth US$38 million.
“DeMar has worked very hard and has been a significant part of the building process here in Toronto,” Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. “We view DeMar as a young, athletic and talented basketball player whose character fits what we are putting together.”
DeRozan learned the news just prior to the game at Air Canada Centre.
“I haven’t really processed it yet, I was just focused on the game. It will probably hit me when I lay down,” he said.
“There was a point to where I was ready if it didn’t (get done Wednesday), I was ready if it did. It’s a good thing that it’s out of the way and everything.”
DeRozan played in 63 games last season averaging 16.7 points, two assists and 3.3 rebounds per game. He is a career 45.7 per cent shooter and 80.2 per cent from the free-throw line.
Toronto drafted DeRozan in the first round (ninth overall) in 2009 and he has since become a key figure in the franchise’s rebuilding project. First-round picks from that draft were facing a midnight deadline Wednesday to secure contract extensions.