Apr 23, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center. The Bucks defeated the Raptors 92-86. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Toronto Raptors Player Profile: DeMar DeRozan

Name:  DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan (10) takes it to the hole. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-US PRESSWIRE

Position:  Shooting Guard

Age:  23

Height:  6’7″

Weight:  216 lbs.

College:  USC

Season with Raptors: 3

2011-2012 Stats: 63 GP, 35 MPG, 16.7 PPG, 2.0 APG, 3.3 RPG, 0.8 SPG, 42.2 FG%, 26.1 3P%, 81.0 FT%, 12.87 PER

Analysis: DeMar is a player on the bubble. Since he joined the Raps as a One & Done draft pick (No. 9 overall) out of USC, he has been counted on to provide consistent scoring at the 2. By no stretch of the imagination is DeRozan a bust, but the holes in his game are troubling. When the league average PER is 15, DD’s 12.87 is unacceptable. Last season he fell into a dreadful shooting slump shortly after Bargnani went down, and the Raptors suffered mightily. While he was allowed the PT and the space to play himself out of his troubles, it is unlikely he will have the same luxury this season, should his shooting go MIA again.

DeMar is now a veteran, not the wide-eyed teenager who first arrived in Toronto. Both his body and his role on the team have filled out. He will be expected to provide field goals on pick-N-pop situations, and alley-oops, which he will. However those are table stakes; if he’s going to elevate his game, he must discover a 3-point shot. A swingman with a career rate of 20.6% from distance is not a credible NBA player. Linas Kleiza, Landry Fields and (hopefully) Terrence Ross will be breathing down DeMar’s neck from Day 1 of camp. DD must become a legitimate threat from downtown, as it will set up his other scoring options, and those of his teammates. DeMar must also upgrade his defense and rebounding, both of which are OK.  This season, unlike his previous ones, OK won’t cut it.

If DeMar gets shipped out of town (and there’s no shortage of fans who would be happy to pack his bags and throw him on, or under, a departing bus), it won’t be as a result of  bickering with his mates, or because he’s leading an anti-Casey cabal. His quiet and serious personality is the antithesis of knucklehead. He goes out of his way to establish friendships even with players trying to take his job, and there is no hint of dissatisfaction at being a Raptor.

Key stat to watch-FG%: DeMar’s shooting percentage was 49.8% as a rookie, and has dropped every season since. If that continues,  he won’t be a starter much longer. Opponents have taken to sagging off him, and will do so until he proves he can hurt them from distance. Assuming the Raps break camp with a small forward who can score, DeMar won’t have to contend with as much defensive pressure, and should be able to bury open jumpers, and take it to the hole, with greater frequency.

He stays on the floor if: He takes advantage of his opportunities. DeMar is more than capable of creating his own shot with his speed and hops, and is highly effective on the fast break. He will be at worst the second option in half-court sets. However, Dwane Casey won’t be patient this year. Should DeMar falter, Coach will drop him to the second unit at warp speed.


Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada. 

Tags: DeMar DeRozan Toronto Raptors

  • Jeffrey Thompson

    I lost a lot of faith in Demar after last season. He took a huge step back. Hopefully he will bounce back and be the attacker and scoring threat the Raptors need him to be to complement Andrea Bargnarni.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brian.boake.14 Brian Boake

      We’ve all got our fingers crossed that DD will have a bounceback season. He needs it, as does everyone involved with the Raps. If he flounders, Colangelo’s future becomes problematic, as DD is central to the rebuild.

      I completely agree that he needs to complement AB; each is much weaker without the other.
      More profiles to come.

  • Vancity Raps

    Really enjoyed reading the first two Player Profiles. Well written and right on the mark in my opinion. Looking forward to reading the rest.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brian.boake.14 Brian Boake

      I replied some days ago, but my reply got eaten (and I’m on vacation) so please accept my apologies. Thanks for kind words, & there are lots more profiles to come.
      My wife, who’s from Vancouver, and I used to go to see all the Vancouver Grizzlies games when they came to town. It’s a shame, and a poor reflection on the NBA, that the team was allowed to bail at the first sign of difficulty. Memphis has been no treat, as fan support is hard to come by, and I bet they wish they hadn’t left.

  • DeMar87

    You guys expect way too much from DeRozan. First of all it would be the most stupidest idea to even think of trading DeRozan away, because we all know that once talent leaves toronto, they are going to start doing better which leaves us fans with a lot regrets. Sure DeMar needs to shoot downs 3′s but you got to realize that he was on a team with a whole list of injured players last season like Bargnani, calderon, barbosa, klieza, bayless which left us signing D-league players to provide some offense and putting a lot of weight on DeMar’s shoulders. DeMar has brought his game every night and only missed maybe 1 game because he twisted his ankle but came back because the guy has HEART. He’s no VC but this guy is going to be an all star and never gave up on him. I can’t wait till the day this guy becomes what ppl say he wouldn’t. Just remember that I told you so…Raptors fans are the worst, lost faith to easily and always jump on the bandwagon like when Jeremy lin beat the raptors with the buzzer beater.

    Good profile but dislike how there are so much cons and less pro’s about him, he has more upside than downside.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brian.boake.14 Brian Boake

      Thanks for your lengthy and provocative comments. I’m not one of those calling for a DeRozan trade, but if he has a sluggish start, I may join the chorus.
      If DD averages 20 PPG this season, I’ve give you a shout-out in my year-end report. Drop by again for my next profile.

      • DeMar87

        My apologies Mr. Boake, we are all Raptors fan with one dream in mind, for our team just to win. I can see them winning a lot, winning so much even winning a championship, as long as they keep the talent in the city.

        • http://www.facebook.com/brian.boake.14 Brian Boake

          No apology needed. I want all kinds of feedback. Stay in touch.