Title: DEMAR DEROZAN DID THE DAMN THING IN RAPTORS’ SEASON OPENER
Date: October 27, 2016
Original Source: Vice
Synopsis: I dropped a quick-hit for Vice on DeMar DeRozan’s opening-night assault of the Detroit Pistons.
If there was any residual sticker shock from the five-year, $137.5 million contract DeMar DeRozan signed this offseason ahead of the Toronto Raptors’ season opener on Wednesday, it’s likely gone now.
That contract is an absurd amount of money in real dollars, and it’s a shade over 90 percent of a maximum contract in the NBA, eating up 28 percent of the team’s salary cap. DeRozan is not a perfect player, and contracts that large tend to assume some risk for players a tier below the league’s elite. Market forces and reasons both on the court and off necessitated the deal, and the new season should be occasion to cease with arguments about the merits of the contract, at least temporarily.
DeRozan surely wasn’t thinking about shifting the focus from the offseason to actual games while leading the Raptors to a resounding 109-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons, but in a masterful 34 minutes he showed exactly why the Raptors put their faith in—and bet their future on—him.