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NBA / Sep 13, 2010 / 12:15 pm

DeMar DeRozan: The Next Vince Carter?

DeMar DeRozan (photo. Nicky Woo)

Contrary to the hype he’s been getting since high school — that only increased after he landed with the Toronto Raptors — DeMar DeRozan won’t become the next Vince Carter.

DeRozan will be better than Vince.

Almost purely on athleticism and potential, DeRozan was a Top-10 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft after leaving USC following his freshman season in order to help his mother, who suffers from Lupus. During his rookie year the 6-7 wing displayed explosiveness and ability to take flight at any given moment while averaging 8.6 points in just over 21 minutes per game. He showed his capabilities of finishing near the rim and showed potential as a good defender, but also displayed poor playmaking skills. Now that Chris Bosh has left Toronto for Miami, and Hedo Turkoglu was traded to the Suns, DeRozan has the chance to become the Raptors new franchise player — similar to Carter after Tracy McGrady left for Orlando.

DeRozan was showing flashes of great potential this offseason during the Vegas Summer League (along with teammate and close friend Sonny Weems), averaging 20.6 points on 60.5 percent shooting from the field in just 23 minutes and leading the Raps to an undefeated record. Sure, it’s just summer league, a place where the great Marco Belinelli once scored 37 in a game, but a player who was selected ninth overall for his athleticism alone is slowly becoming a prospect with more to offer.

But in order for DeRozan to become the new leader of the Raptors, he’s going to have to learn how to become a more complete player instead of relying on his athleticism — the same way Carter did to become a well-rounded player.

The Raptors were dead last in Defensive Efficiency last season (110.2) according to ESPN’s John Hollinger. In giving up that much offense, that means DeRozan is going to have to use his athleticism on the defensive side against opposing teams best players. Especially playing at the two-guard, where he’ll have to defend players like Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade.

But according to DeRozan, he’s already ahead of the game:

“Having a year under my belt playing in the League, knowing what they’re expecting, knowing what I have to do — it just raised my confidence level that much higher,” DeRozan told NBA Fanhouse. “I feel more comfortable. … The game just comes easy. I know what to do now on both ends — the defensive end and the offensive end — so it just made the game easy.”

Another area for improvement is his passing game. He averaged only one assist during the summer league, but also showed improved ball handling skills, which was a problem for him last season. With better ball handling comes better decision-making and playmaking for teammates.

Athleticism doesn’t last forever — just ask Carter — but after missing the playoffs for two straight seasons and now losing their best player, Toronto is going to rely heavily on DeRozan to be able to help when in need; something Carter chose not to do. Just because DeRozan won’t be scoring only on dunks this season doesn’t mean Raptors fans won’t see a couple alley-oops between him and Weems. After all, what’s all work and no play?

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  • Heckler

    he cant shoot.
    plain and simple. defenses can double team off of him. he cant make a consistent open 18ftr.

    and he wont be better than vince carter (as sad as that is).
    demar’s ceiling is more like…(wait for it)…Andre Iguodala

  • bobby stew

    And Harold Miner is better than Jordan. Get outta here

  • K Dizzle

    Man, I hope you right. Kid has a bright future and Sonny’s gotta be the most slept-on guard in the league

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ Heckler

    What makes you believe he can’t shoot? Because of his rookie season? He was raining dimes during the Summer League. DeRozan will be a better overall player this season.

  • http://twitter.com/k11y k11y

    He’ll be better because he has more work ethic and heart than Vince could ever dream of. People are sleeping on him & Sonny (and Amir Johnson for that matter). He’s shooting much better than he was last season and this high energy young Raptors squad, while probably not close to play off contenders this season, will surprise everyone over the next few years. If Bargnani can get his ish together and play with the team this squad will be very good

  • Heckler….SIKE

    heckler is not a scout
    nor is he an analyst

    he is probably going off of pure nba 2k knowledge

  • George W Kush Sr

    “DeRozan has the chance to become the Raptors new franchise player — similar to Carter after Tracy McGrady left for Orlando.”

    Nope, Carter was already the golden boy when TMAC left, you’re reaching again.

    I do agree that he’ll be better than his rookie year, and that Sonny Weems was a great pick up for the raps, dude can guard very well and he flies like DeRozan, he should be better this year too.

  • netstar

    his shot selection was pretty bad his rookie year. he is not a bad shooter, he just didnt make the right decisions for his playing style. he will get better, but he will never be VC. maybe 17ppg max

  • atticusmitch

    @Andrew Macaluso
    Raining Dimes? U mean Js, in your article you said he avaraged on “dime” a game. Man learn your bball jargon. No way he will be better than Vince. Dude your sucking at these articles man, write more conservative. For an intern I understand your trying to make bold statements and get noticed, but seriously your stretching this to the max. Yes he will play a bigger role for Toronto, but he is not going to be a franchise player/Vince replacement. Slow your roll.

  • M Intellect

    Co-Sign raining dimes…

    “DeRozan has the chance to become the Raptors new franchise player — similar to Carter after Tracy McGrady left for Orlando.”

    He was the man before T-Mac left?! He probably was the reason T-Mac left?

    Dude – Don’t mean to be harsh, but I’m just being honest.. You gotta brush up on your research and Ball Slang…

  • M Intellect

    My bad – Just saw someone else made the same point

  • JAY

    @k11y: “He’ll be better because he has more work ethic and heart than Vince could ever dream of.”
    ^in a nutshell… 100% agree.

    I agree with the article too. Funny some guys in here are totally writing it off like it’s totally not possible. Derozan has a very good chance of being better than Vince. Remember Vince came out after his junior year…. Derozan has a 2 year head start on him. Dude was drafted at 19yrs old.
    I believe by Yr 4, he’ll make the doubters eat their words.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ atticusmitch

    Actually, my article states that he averaged only one “assist” during the Summer League.

  • Dagger

    Wow, that’s a bold claim. Carter at his peak was an extraordinary player considered a peer of Kobe, and Derozan is not even the third-best player on a gutted Raptors team right now. Hope you’re willing to stand by this prediction in coming months and years.

  • atticusmitch

    @Andrew Macaluso

    no shit. so what do you mean by saying:
    “He was raining dimes during the Summer League.”

    If he only averaged on assist, that not raining dimes.I think u meant to say raining threes, or jumpers. Thats what i mean by learn your basketball jargon especially if your going to be a basketball journalist.

  • JA

    @ atticus – yes, the writer should have probably proof read once or twice more, but shouldn’t we all? Case in point is your use of “your”

  • http://levinsonlawfirm.com Cary

    Articles like this keep me from reading Dime, Slam, etc.

    So much hype for kids that are still learning the game and so much disrespect for former stars.

    VC got hurt – he was a great player…

  • atticusmitch

    @Ja

    I am not a journalist, I am not a writer by any means. However if I am trying to make a career for myself by writing about a sport, on a sport specific magazine site, I am going to learn the terms aka jargon about that specific sport. Look I know I’m a crappy writer, but this is this kids thrid shitty article where he is talking out of his ass

  • atticusmitch

    third* just to make Ja happy

  • JA

    I’m with you on that one. He’s a tad over-zealous.

  • JAY

    @Dagger: “Wow, that’s a bold claim. Carter at his peak was an extraordinary player considered a peer of Kobe, ”
    So how are we measuring? Peak? Or the entire body of work. if entire body of work, Derozan can do it. If it’s “peak”, then no, I don’t believe Derozan will reach that status.

    “and Derozan is not even the third-best player on a gutted Raptors team right now”
    He’s also barely in his 20s.

  • it is i

    hellooo everybody!!!!

  • Derik

    Carter was ROY, fallowing year, he averages over 25 points and was voted as an all-star, this is all before TMac left, get your facts right.

    DeRozen will not be better than Carter, i see him as Corey Maggette or Andre Iguodala type.

  • JBaller

    Perhaps Dime Mag should create a little cheat sheet that explains the jargon, you know like dime=assist, PER=player efficiency rating, GOAT=Jordan, etc.

    Or maybe hire only writers that are well versed in the vernacular.

  • Robert Misovic

    You’re insane. Carter in his prime? DeRozan is going to be good but he’s not even a top-3 player on this team right now. Get real. This is Andrea’s team for the next few years. If after that DeRozan gets the franchise tag..fine.

  • JBaller

    On the other topic at hand, I’d like to see DeRozan after he’s had another year in the league. As was repeated ad nausium in the article, he has mad athleticism, but with less than a year of college ball and one year in the league it’s way too early to guess how good he’ll become.

    Who here thinks he jump over a 7 foot German in international competition? I don’t know if he could, but I’d like to see him try!

  • WinDelRoj

    If Vince hadnt been hurt and had more heart….

    I know highlights dont mean jack in the grand scheme of things. But Vince has endless Top 10 material.

  • LiveandDieToronto

    look to all those hating on Demar like that need to relax. First of all VC was a good-great player, however he is NO longer the best player to don a Raptor uni. Second, he HAD NO HEART. That in itself leaves the door WIDE open for Demar to step right through and make a name for himself. Demar has a solid mid-range game athleticism for days and the heart and soul of a person who wants to be better.

    I truly believe that Demar could end up being the better of the two IF Demar continues to work on his craft and continues to show us all that drive that he has!!

  • http://www.youtube.com/sRecollet sRecollet

    Awesome article! I was already pumped watching highlights from summer league last night. I knew too he would break out this season, that was before CB4 left. 20+ppg easily.
    Hes a better ball handler and hes always had a nice jumper which I know he practices like crazy.
    DeMar DeRozan, take the Raps to the playoffs! I know you will.

  • Sacto_J

    If, by “The next Vince Carter”, you mean athletically gifted freak of nature who’s ringless, injury prone and disappears in games where he’s not the featured scorer , than there’s every chance in the world DeRozan could be the next Vince Carter. I see nothing wrong at all with this statement….
    Oh, and don’t sweat all the backlash, Andrew. Take it all with a grain of salt (there is a shred of validity mixed in with the gripes, sure) but keep writing, you’ve got decent perspective and a solid “voice”….

  • http://www.youtube.com/sRecollet sRecollet

    Wow, take much of the negative’s from Vince much. He’s still an all-star player and the most athletic player this league has ever seen. Quit living in the past.
    AND BTW, check this video for a DeMar & VC comparison.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUAdG77DAn4

  • sh!tfaced

    Well, shit… almost 3/4 who ever made it in the league has got better heart the Vince… that’s what really counts anyways

  • JK

    Just wondering, how was Kobe when he came into the league when he was 18? Also, how many years did it take for him to develop into an allstar/superstar? I believe Derozan has gone to Kobe’s camp and looks like he has the drive and determination of the Black Mamba as well.

  • shazy

    i think we should not speculate on this subject to much right now and wait for the regular season because it is hard to judge a player when he is on my player mode for his rookie season and follows his coaches objectives. i think we wiil get a better idea of his ceiling next year where he is expected to fill in either the second or third option on the team

  • K Dizzle

    The first time Demar plays thru an injury, he’ll automatically be better than Vince, point blank.

  • Mr. In My Own Lane

    Wow its 2010 and people are still hatin on Vince Carter, shit is amazing to me. I believe this past year this was the first time he avg less than 20ppg 5ast 5reb..since he was rookie at 18ppg, thats over a span of 12 years of givin cats the business straight up..I appreciate what he brought to the table in his era. He was just destroyin cats..probly not at a Jordan or Kobe pace, but in his own right..he was pretty fuckin amazing, fuck the bullshit u haters are talkin on here..lol cats is crzy man…and on the Demar comparsion, IDK, i dont see similarities offesively..Vince was already polished and had a high skill level coming in..He probly did when ROY off dunkin alone, but in all fairness, he reall didnt, he was just better than his peers coming in, point blank…..Demar has a lot to go before he gets there…The Kid isnt even JR Smith or Jamal Crawford right now, to put him in Vince Comparisons..lol GTFOH..

  • Joe’s Momma

    I think he is improved

    But stop thinking summer league success will translate into NBA success. Smush Parker killed it in the summer league too a while ago. Parlayed that into 2 yr min deal, then a two year deal with Miami that Riley immediately tried to void.

    Next Carter? Is he planning on getting a fat contract and then giving up? Will he shoot off-balance jumpers when the team needs him to grow a pair and take it to the hoop?

    Rap’s fans better hope not.

  • swan

    Derozan can be better than carter… Maybe not the ppg leader that carter was but he can be an all-round better player.

  • Pat

    If were just making shit up, then I say he ends up a cross between Kobe and MJ plus growing 2 more inches since he’s so young. Lol

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ Joe’s Mommas

    I think you missed the part that said “Better than Carter” at the beginning.

  • stretch

    Wow. Yall have short memory. You make it sound like T-Mac was holding Vinsanity back during their days at T-Dot when it was the other way around. Derozan is nice thats all it is now. He can dunk, fine so can Stromile Swift.

    Lets wait a couple of years and let him be the best player on his team and then compare him with a perennial all-star. I dont even believe he his better than Sonny Weems at this point!

    It is not VC fault if they T-Dot couldn’t surround him with talent. If he mentally checked out while playing with bums, so what! You will too if you have to carry bums for 82 games.

  • raytard

    Raining dimes lol…raining Trey’s…raining 3s….raining J’s…but dimes? LOL maybe you can technically rain a dime by throwing an alley oop haha Thanks for the amusement I’ll be sure to let the gym know about raining dimes tonight

  • Joe’s Momma

    @ Andrew Macaluso

    hahaha, yea I probably should have noticed that part. It was double spaced, I don’t know why I completely ignored it.

    This kid has the ability to play some very good defense, I was impressed last year. Offensively he will get a lot more touches this time around. I hope he worked on that jumper, because dude can get to the rim.

    I think Toronto will be better than last year, I might be crazy though. The whole Bosh thing last year caused quite a distraction, even if the players try to down play it.

    I expect to see Barbosa tearing it up. Jack can straight up ball. Then need to move Calderon quick, he might be the next Bosh type distraction.

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    After hearing about Derozen as a Soph playing with Master P’s AAU squad I thought he was the next VC. That’s the way he was being billed through the articles. But after watching him at USC and a few games at T-dot I’m not sold on this kid at all.

    He can jump, but he’s nowhere near Vince or even Iggy. He has the athleticism of young Gerald Wallace. Far above avg, but not elite.

    His 3pt shot is farther along than VC at this stage of their careers (age doesn’t matter, it’s about games played and experience).

    His IQ, agressiveness going to the rim, and handle are all behind VC at the same point in their career. Those are the things that made VC so good when he used to actually attack the basket.

    So in all, this kid has no chance of matching VC on any level. I know a lot of people are disappointed in the way VC’s career turned out (I am one of them) but thats no reason to underplay his ability and effectiveness. DeRozan better worry about not becoming a bust first, before he tries to match VC’s output.

  • the scola

    the answer is… no way

  • deeds

    Derozen absolutely has a chance to have a better career than Vince Carter. He has the tool set, and more importantly he has the work ethic that carter was severely lacking. Derozen is a good kid who doesn’t fake it and he consitently wants to improve.

    I don’t think he will ever reach Carter at his peak (which was basically 1 season) but a better career is certainly in play

  • EarthJuice

    Keep writing, Andrew. If you love to write, keep writing. If you can write and have an editor editing for you, it will make you better in the long run. If you want to write basketball, immerse yourself in basketball. You can learn the jargon in an hour using Google. Don’t let these clowns get you down on yourself. Most of these guys can’t even speak english, let alone write. VC played more post-highschool games than DeMar. He should be farther ahead. VC is a sulker with a low tolerance for pain. If he is not the #1 option, he is disinterested. No heart. Never a leader.

  • Bob

    This is a kid who was at times the 4th or even 5th option on the floor last year. Yes he has the support of his team and the expectation to improve…The next Vince Carter? Nonsense. Why can’t he be the next Demar DeRozen? Why must every young athletic Raptor be compared to VC. Most of his records were broken by Bosh, will we start calling Ed Davis the next CB4 even though their games are predicated on different things. How about (if you really feel obligated) just saying that the torch is being passed from VC to CB and now potentially DD — Many would argue Toronto is Bargnani’s team but at least that’s a little more honest.

  • WAMP WAMP

    what a joke. demars better then vince with acne. the kid has no handles.

  • LAYZIE

    NO WAY HE’S BETTER THAN VINCE… VINCE AT HIS PEEK IS A MVP CONTENDER.. PLUS HE CAN’T WIN AGAINST VINCE IN A DUNK CONTEST.. CARTER IS ONE OF THE MOST OR ONE OF THE GREATEST DUNKER NOT ONLY IN THE NBA BUT IN THE WORLD…

  • stupid

    Andrew Macaluso something’s not right in your head…what baskeball league have you been watching.

    What a sad day for Dime.

    And when Mr. Macaluso gets a full time job as an NBA writer, that would be the saddest day for basketball

    sigh!

  • ay yo..

    I have DeRozan on a dynasty team, so I hope he proves me wrong. That said, I don’t think he’ll ever be better than Vince.

    Vince is/was a natural passer. DeRozan isn’t.
    Out of everything, I think court vision is the hardest thing to work out, and it’s even harder when you don’t have a solid handle.

    Also, DeRozan doesn’t have that unreal range that Vince does. He can work on that tho.

  • ANONIMOUS

    NEVER PLAYER DO VC!!!!! CAN DO NEVER; nobdy can,, VC IS UNIQUE;; DEROZAN is OTHER DUNKER MORE; VINCE CARTER IS THE KING OF DUNKS.

  • Chris

    Anyone who thinks Demar will be better than Vince is a blithering idiot.

    Vince’s best season as a Raptor, 2000-2001:
    27.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, 1.1 BPG, 55.1% TS%

    Vince’s best (full) season as a Net, 2006-2007:
    25.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 55.9% TS%

    Vince’s best playoff season, 2006:
    29.6 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 5.3 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 55.9% TS%

    DeMar will NEVER, EVER even come close to any of those numbers I just listed. Idiots can talk about “heart” and other subjective stupidity all they want, but that’s all that is – subjective stupidity. Objectively, DeMar will NEVER touch Vince’s production. DeMar at his PEAK MIGHT put up similar numbers to what Vince put up last season for the Magic:
    16.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 54.1% TS%

    Vince Carter was named 3rd best shooting guard of the last decade by Yahoo Sports (http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/The-10-best-shooting-guards-of-the-last-decade?urn=nba-192484). He averaged 23.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.8 APG over those 10 years. He scored 20+ PPG for 10 STRAIGHT YEARS.

    I’m guessing the DeMar fanboys will retort with more subjective nonsense about “heart”, “fake injuries”, blah blah blah. Deep down they know that DeMar at his best won’t even put up Vince’s career averages, never mind Vince at his peak.

  • Chris

    And where does everyone get this idea that DeMar has more “work ethic” now than Vince did as a rookie. Just because you read it on the internet doesn’t make it true. And just because DeMar says he works hard doesn’t mean he is working harder than Vince did. Give me proof (or at least evidence) that DeMar has more “work ethic” than Vince. Don’t just say it, show it to me. What SPECIFICALLY has he done (and provide a link so I know you’re not lying) to suggest he has more work ethic than Vince did.

    I guess the proof will be in the pudding. If DeMar doesn’t improve more from his rookie to second year than Vince did, all these people saying he has more “work ethic” than Vince are liars. This was Vince’s improvement from his rookie season to his second season:

    PPG: + 7.4
    APG: + 0.9
    SPG: + 0.2
    TS%: + 2.7
    PER: + 3.8

    If you people aren’t liars, and DeMar really does have more “heart” and “work ethic” than Vince (though I’ve seen no one explain where they are getting these “facts” from), than DeMar’s numbers should improve much more than Vince’s did from his rookie to second season.

  • Chris

    >>Toronto is going to rely heavily on DeRozan to be able to help when in need; something Carter chose not to do.<<

    This is a lie. Toronto helped the Raptors when they were in need more than any other player in franchise history. Without Carter they would have never even won a playoff round.

    For proof that the above statement is a lie, just look at the Raptors combined record in 2002-03 and 2003-04 with and without Carter in the lineup:

    Without Carter: 6-42 (0.125 winning percentage) – the fact that they only won 12% of their games when Carter didn't play proves that Carter had the worst supporting cast in NBA history

    With Carter: 54-62 (0.466 winning percentage)

    That means that the Raptors were 0.341 BETTER with Vince in the lineup than without him. I doubt you can find another player in NBA history who made that much of a difference in his team's winning percentage over a two-year period with a statistically significant number of both games played and games missed. But hey, if I'm wrong, prove me wrong and show me the numbers.

    This article is a bunch of wishy-washy subjective stupidity. There are NO facts or figures presented to support the author's case. The proof will come this upcoming season when DeMar's numbers improved less than Vince's did from both player's rookie to sophomore seasons. And I will be back here to say I told you so.

  • Chris

    And finally when it comes to “heart”, Vince Carter showed WAY MORE heart in his rookie season than DeMar DeRozan showed in his rookie season. And if you disagree with that, than you either weren’t watching the Raptors in Vince’s rookie season, or you have suffered amnesia.

    So I ask again, where do people get this idea that Demar has more “heart” or “work ethic” than Vince did. I’m not saying it can’t be true, but present a convincing case. Be specific. What did DeMar do in his rookie season that Vince didn’t do in his rookie season that proves that he has more “heart” and “work ethic” than Vince did. And please be specific and cite documented facts. I’m not interest in your biased opinion.

  • Chris

    >>I don’t think he will ever reach Carter at his peak (which was basically 1 season) but a better career is certainly in play<<

    So you think DeMar will end his career with better numbers than Vince?

    Bwahahahahahahaha! Don't make me laugh.

    DeMar's BEST season won't even be as good as Vince's career averages.

  • ITS YA BOI GOOCH

    buurr….DeMar DeRozan is the next break out start he is going to be one of the best in the league(right after Kobe retires) at this point he is showing alot of potential..burr

  • dave

    lol, hey chris you wanted something that proves demar has more heart? lol, it’s called practice, something that vince doesn’t understand because he has “natural ability”, vince carter is a joke, the guy is a useless piece of crap now, who gives a crap about carter’s past, he never achieved anything with it, demar is going to be a star that no one can even realize right now

  • dave

    lol chris why are you so vehemently against demar derozan? is it because the dudes 20 and he’s achieved more than anything you ever could in your entire life? you know what i think so, chris you’re a big quiff and i’m sure 90% of the people on this post think the same thing, do yourself a favor and keep your hate filled comments to yourself

  • dave

    chris you also wanted proof that he has work ethic, check the dudes twitter, everyday he’s training, putting up at least 500 made shots, this dude can’t live without spending hours with a basketball in his hands a day, that’s fucking work ethic if work ethic even exists

  • http://www.ballislife.com Arek

    Dime, you guys need to post this in the article for the people saying he can’t shoot.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhRHWqCQxjE