Raptors star DeRozan happy in Toronto


Soon-to-be free agent DeMar DeRozan wants to remain with the Toronto Raptors, despite being linked with a return home to Los Angeles.

DeRozan will become an unrestricted free agent in July and the Lakers are believed to be readying a lucrative offer to lure the Southern California native home.

But the 26-year-old NBA All-Star guard, who has spent his entire career in Toronto, is happy in Canada after helping the Raptors to the Eastern Conference finals.

"My mindset has always been Toronto. I've always preached it. I was passionate about it when we were losing, when we were terrible," DeRozan said.

"I said I was going to stick through this whole thing, and I want to be that guy who brings this organisation to where it is now. I definitely don't want to switch that up after we win.

"I've been saying it for a long time. I haven't changed, not one bit. I took pride in putting that Raptors jersey on when people counted us out or when people said, 'Why go to Toronto? Why this, why that, why this, why that?' You hear it so much - that gave me the motivation to want to prove people wrong or prove critics wrong - why this organisation can't be a winning organisation. You know what I mean? I took pride in that a long time ago. To see how far [we've come], that's what it's all about."

DeRozan added: "I grew up in LA. That's my home. There's not a part of Los Angeles I haven't seen. I don't get caught up into it. I let whoever comes up with that say what they want to say.

"The only thing appealing to me is the things I've done in this organisation and the things that can be done here. And that's always been my mindset since I've been here."

DeRozan averaged 20.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in the play-offs, having averaged 23.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and four assists in the regular season.