Raps' DeRozan feeling comfortable

De Mar DeRozan practices with the Toronto Raptors in Vancouver.  (Jack Boland/QMI Agency)

De Mar DeRozan practices with the Toronto Raptors in Vancouver. (Jack Boland/QMI Agency)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

TORONTO - DeMar DeRozan said a couple of things Thursday you won’t hear too often from a professional athlete.

He professed to enjoy two-a-day workouts and downplayed the financial aspect of the Raptors picking up the option year of his contract.

While veteran teammate Jarrett Jack called the gruelling pair of workouts the team has been going through the first few days of camp a necessary evil, young DeRozan said he actually looks forward to them.

“We play 82 games, this is what it takes,” DeRozan said after the morning session at the ACC.

“I think it’s good for us, it definitely helps us.”

But it wasn’t always that way for DeRozan. Things were different at USC.

“I hated it in college, I’m not going to lie. It’s way harder in college,” he said.

“Coach (Tim) Floyd ran me to death.”

The Raptors had until Halloween to pick up DeRozan’s option, but they did so a month early, in part, to make a statement about DeRozan’s importance to the club going forward.

“I wasn’t expecting (general manager Bryan Colangelo to tell him now), it came out of the blue.

“I’m happy. It shows that I’m really liked here. Hopefully I’m here for a while.”

When asked whether more guaranteed money would change his hard-working approach at all, DeRozan said it won’t have any impact.

“Not at all, this is for the love of the game,” he said.

“I love this game, and everything else that comes with it I’m thankful for, but overall, I’m in it for the game.”

DeRozan added that he is feeling far more comfortable compared to his first taste of NBA training camp last fall.

“Last year, everything was new to me, I had to learn everything on the go. Second year, I know what to expect coming in, (which) makes it a lot easier.”

DeRozan said he is anticipating the club’s trip to Vancouver this weekend.

“I’ve been there (before), looking forward to it, getting back on the Pacific Time,” said the native of Compton, California.

Damp in the house

Veteran centre Erick Dampier was at the ACC for a meeting with Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors.

Dampier is considering offers from a number of teams and having made a ton of money over the course of his career, is expected to sign a deal somewhere for the veteran’s minimum.

The opportunity to play heavy minutes in Toronto appeals to Dampier, but the allure of joining a contender might also sway him

Dinos on the air

Six of Toronto’s eight pre-season games, including the opener in Vancouver against the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 6, will be televised.


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