Raptors News

Locker clean-out: DeRozan thinks Raptors are close, won’t interfere with Lowry

DeMar DeRozan spoke with media after completing his end-of-season physical on Monday. Here’s a quick look at some of what he had to say.

On Kyle Lowry’s free agency

“I haven’t thought about it, honestly…I never looked at or tried to put it in perspective, what it’d be like without him. Just take it, time at a time, it’s gonna be a decision on him that he gonna have to make. Whatever decision he make, I support him 100 percent.”

“Yeah. It don’t have to necessarily just be with basketball. We gained something that go way beyond on basketball. That’s why when it comes to things like this, I don’t put the pressure on him or I don’t say do this or do that. He gotta make the decision and whatever one he make, as  a friend, I gotta be there to support him. ‘Cause it’s something beyond basketball. I wouldn’t wanna hinder him or make anything more hectic than it’s already going to be.”

So that’s a lot of exactly what Lowry said about DeRozan last year, as expected.

On Toronto’s proximity to contention

“We’re close. But saying that, when you close, you still feel so far. It’s kinda like being in traffic. You gotta go two blocks but if there’s traffic, it can take you an hour to get somewhere that’s two minutes away. I say that to say this: We’re close. It’s a matter of doing the one right thing the right way that makes everything else click.”

On his goals for the offseason

“More so everything. I pride myself on coming back better. Better. That’s just my main objective. Even thinking this morning of things I could be better come next season, just eating away at me. I gotta sit down for a couple of weeks at least and recoup, mentally and physically before I get back at it. It’s definitely, will be something that I’m pretty sure will be evident what I got better at next year.”

“This last year of basketball has been a challenge of fitting in working on your game, playing, playing so far last year, the Olympics, coming home two days later after the Olympics having my second daughter, a week later coming back here, now this stretch. Just take an emotional break, a physical break, everything so I can get back in things…When I was young that was never an option for me but now I kinda have to. I’ll be 28 this season, I mean this summer, next year will be my ninth year so it’s more so being smart, taking the correct approach, continue to treat your body right so you can feel even better next season.”

On head coach Dwane Casey

“We stuck by him. Even when we had our bad days, our good days, we stuck by him. One thing about Case, Case is a helluva person outside of a coach. When you’ve got a coach that’s a great guy like Case, them bad days can flip quick into the good days. That’s one thing about him, he’s been the same with his funny quotes, his sayings and everything. Sometimes he hit us with that and the whole room starts laughing so stuff like that is great.”

On what the team needs this summer

“I never step in that lane because, it’s understood. When the organization understands winning and wants to win, you don’t have to worry about that. I just try to worry about myself and understanding I need to be better for whatever the next season brings. But I understand it’s going to be a team that’s going to try and compete to try and win, not to just figure it out or wait until next year. We showed it this year, winning 50+ again, and always being counted out. So it’s just a challenge for me, whatever other 14 guys out there will be.”

He did, however, concede that the team could use more shooting.

On the feeling last night

“Proud of the effort that we left out there, everybody stepped up and we tried to pull off a victory, but at the end of the day, going back in that locker room, it put everything in perspective of being together since September, working every single day, being with one another every single day more than our own families Last night, after a game like that, everything get put in perspective. Now you gotta be away from these guys, and you see them in a different light and you really find more of an appreciation for them.”

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