Today not only marks the start of a new season for the Raptors, but also the deadline day for the team and DeMar DeRozan to come to terms on an extension before next off-season. If no deal is struck by the end of the day, the Raptors can’t negotiate with DeMar again until after the season, at which point DeRozan can become a free agent (The Raptors could still make him a restricted free agent and match any offer for him next summer by simply tendering him a qualifying offer before free agency).

It was widely expected that the Raptors would let the deadline pass, see what DeRozan had to offer in his fourth NBA season, and then would make a decision regarding the 23-year-old’s future later.

But alas, the always on the ball Adrian Wojnarowski broke this just minutes ago:

We obviously have no idea what the Raptors are offering or what DeRozan’s camp is looking for from a financial standpoint right now, but I have to admit, I’m not thrilled about this development.

As I’ve stated before, DeRozan seems to have the work ethic and genuine love for Toronto that makes him incredibly easy to root for as a Raptors fan, and I really do want to see him take his game to the next level and establish himself as a future star in T.O.

But other than what I’ll admit was an impressive pre-season where he took advantage of his strength in the post, DeRozan is still an incomplete player. His offence hasn’t been efficient since his rookie year, he still doesn’t rebound well for his position, defend well for his athleticism, or pass the ball when he should. In short, DeMar should prove himself and prove his worth this season before the franchise makes a decision that will hinder some of their financial flexibility in the future.

Maybe Bryan Colangelo and co. can get DeRozan at a discounted price, have him break out this season, and then look like geniuses for locking him up before his stock skyrocketed (Remember, with so few young stars at shooting guard ready to take the torch from the older stars, a breakout season from a young free agent SG could get said player PAID). But there’s just as likely a possibility that DeRozan is overpaid and then struggles to justify his new contract.

Of course, there’s also the possibility that these contract talks are nothing more than just that – talks – and that both parties will go into the season still without an agreement.