Apr 30, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) and guard Kyle Lowry (7) come off the court during a break in the action against the Brooklyn Nets in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Brooklyn 115-113. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

DeMar DeRozan Trade: Can it help or destroy the Raptors?

Apr 30, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) celebrates the win with Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets at Air Canada Centre. The Toronto Raptors won 115-113.Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

DeMar DeRozan was one of the two main reasons, the other was Kyle Lowry, that the Toronto Raptors broke their franchise winning record (48) and reached playoffs after 7 years.

He improved, for another season (22.7 ppg from 18.1, 4.3 rpg from 3.9, 4 apg from 2.5), and showed leadership skills. These numbers and performance earned him an invitation to the 2014 All Star Game, his first one. DeMar is becoming the face of the franchise, even if he cannot be considered as “franchise player”. And he loves the city of Toronto.

Masai Ujiri is at a crucial crossroads. He must improve this team, because one good season is nothing, two is something, and many playoff or even contending ones is a success story.

So, what should our General Manager do with his All-Star player? Build around him (and probably lose him after two years if the Raptors cannot achieve his expectations), or trade him and bring younger and/or more talented assets? If Masai wants to get the best exchange value of DeMar, now is the time. He shone this season, had a very efficient playoff appearance too, he’s an All Star and he has a fair contract ($9,500,000 per year for the next 2 years) for his performance. But, is this DeMar’s highest ceiling? Or he has more to give and show us, and he may become a new Paul George?

A trade of DeMar has pros and cons. Let’s talk about them.

Pros: He could be used as a very strong trade chip for a high draft pick, or a current NBA player. We all know that this draft is one of the deepest since many years. We could use him, along with our 2nd round picks or 2016 NYK/Denver pick and get a higher-rated college player. This draft has a lot of SF and PG, so we could get a potential All Star on the 26th of June, if we get a high pick, and help him evaluate for a couple of years. If for example the draftee is a PG like Zach LaVine or Marcus Smart or even Dante Exum, and we keep Kyle Lowry, we can have two very strong players at this position, and the younger one will learn a lot from our star floor general. My dream, of course, would be to trade him, along with picks (or whatever is necessary) for Andrew Wiggins, but this is almost impossible to happen.

He could be used in order to attract potential trade partners. For example, according to CBS Sports, the Phoenix Suns are considering of trading Dragic, Bledsoe and picks for Kevin Love. If Love wants to play for the Suns, why doesn’t he want to play for the Raptors? Toronto is the 5th largest city in North America, the Raptors don’t need to trade 2 of their best players and picks for Love, they also have a good bench depth which helped them earn a playoff spot after many years and win their division. From the other hand, Phoenix isn’t picking Wiggins or Parker, in order to attract Love. They currently own the 14th and 27th 2014 Draft picks.

So why don’t we (the Toronto Raptors) try to trade DeMar plus Hansbrough or Patterson (or picks) for Kevin Love? I’ve checked this trade on the NBA ESPN trade Machine and it’s a successful one.

Love is only an example. There are many players who will be available for a trade after July 1st, when the free agents can sign contracts with their new teams, or resign with their current ones.

Another positive from such potential trade would be the evolution of Terrence Ross. In my eyes, Ross has a higher ceiling than DeMar. He’s athletic, but he has a better jump shot technique and he can shoot the 3. This year he improved his perimeter defense too. He’s still inconsistent, but the solution for that is found by training. This is the key for success, and DeMar knows that and utilizes that as much as he can. I don’t know if Ross can be the same “gym-rat” as DeMar, and this is a concern. DeMar from the other hand, he developed his jump shoot, but he’s not as good as Terrence. Half of his points come from the “charity line” of free throws, and he’s much worse from beyond the arc. And I don’t believe that he could improve his defensive skills more. Terrence has more lateral quickness which can help him improve offensively and defensively. So, given DeMar’s minutes, Terrence would improve and become the “face of the franchise”.

Cons: A potential trade of DeRozan, can damage the chemistry and bonding inside the team. DeMar acted as the leader of this team, especially after Rudy Gay departure, even if I believe that the true leader is Kyle Lowry. We’ve read and listened to many players telling about how good the chemistry of the team is, and how much DeMar (and Kyle) help to remain this positive atmosphere inside the locker rooms. So, a potential trade of such a piece could risk more than 22 points per game. And this is the worst part. Because, Rudy Gay departure helped the team to build this camaraderie and mutual respect, DeMar’s could destroy it.

That was the worst part? No…The worst part is the following: Kyle Lowry said that he loved his teammates and DeMar DeRozan, so one of his thoughts of re-signing is DeMar. So, a potential trade of DeRozan could create a departure domino from the team, and if this domino includes Kyle Lowry, then things may get even worse…

So, what is your opinion about a potential trade of Mr Derozan, Raptors fans?

Did the player reach his ceiling and the trade time is now? Or must he stay and the team has to build around him?

Tags: DeMar DeRozan Toronto Raptors

  • ShadowXL

    Why in the blue hell are we discussing this AGAIN? Unless any trade for DeRozan involves LBJ, Durant or some other high profile star, it makes no sense! Why trade him? Cause he’s an inefficient scorer? So what?! It’s not like it hurt us much last year.

    Now if it were Ross on the trade block, I wouldn’t mind too much. I’d rather deal with inefficient than inconsistent any day of the week.

    • Benjamin

      I still wouldn’t trade Ross unless real value was coming our way. You’re talking about a 2nd year player being inconsistent. Give him time. I’m sure his nightmare postseason performance is pushing him to work hard this summer, and keeping him around where Demar can push him to keep working hard could only help us.

      • Dinos Charitopoulos

        In my opinion, Ross has a higher ceiling. But DeMar’s work ethic is something special, and this ethic and continuous training made him the player he is right now.
        If Ross can take DeMar as an example and mentor, he will surpass him.
        Right now, talent wise and financial wise, the best asset is DeRozan. But as I said, it’s a very risky decision to trade him (or not.)
        Thanks for commenting

    • Dinos Charitopoulos

      Terrence is inconsistent, I agree. But I want to see him playing more, in order to get the self confidence he needs.
      Do not compare DeRozan with LBJ or Durant…He may be our “LBJ” right now, but he’s not at this level.
      I was “dreaming” of trading DeRozan for Parker or Wiggins, which would be sth you could like too, but this is real life not fantasy basketball or ESPN trade machine. I agree that DeMar could use as a trade asset for an all star of future hall of famer.
      As I said, the only risk of trading DeRozan right now is the possibility of destroying team’s chemistry.
      Team has to be better. And sometimes you need to make sacrifices in order to achieve better things in the future. The tonight’s draft pick isn’t helping the team to improve ASAP, so we have to find other paths, even via free agency (another way that didn’t go well in the past) or via trades…
      Thanks for commenting.

      • Rami El Kazma

        Another con of trading DeMar is the fact that he might become a superstar very soon. You see, you never mention it in your article, and all of us take it for granted now. But when he started playing, DeMar was not expected to reach this point, yet he did. The thing is with players like DeMar (players who never stop training) they don’t have a ceiling. They always get better. And to be honest, he’s 24, so he will still improve a great deal. I think trading DeMar right now would not be a good move for the Raptors at all.

    • #TankNation

      I see Demar as a Richard Hamilton type player, scoring 18 PPG on a team where he’s the 3rd best player and scorer. That way his efficiency would go up because he wouldn’t be carrying his team’s offensive load all by himself.

  • Trevor LeSueur

    This is disgusting. DeMar has already been through the tough losing seasons for this franchise and he took it upon himself to make the Raps a contender and he will continue to do just that. I will not see the Raps develop another superstar and ship him away.

    • Dinos Charitopoulos

      I agree with you that he likes the team, the city and he’s working out in order to achieve great things for himself and this team.
      I don’t believe that the Raps cannot develop another superstar and ship him away, cause DeRozan he’s a very good player, but superstar? No.
      If instead of DeRozan we had Wiggins, nobody could even think of trading him.
      The most important thing about NOT trading DeMar is that such a move could hurt the team chemistry a lot. And if we take Spurs as an example, they don’t need many superstars to achieve greatness (although they have one). They build on the team’s chemistry.
      Thanks for your comment.

  • Xtremenator1

    Nope. I don’t trade Derozan for anyone. Chemistry alone it wouldn’t be a good idea, and I really want to see what Derozan could do next year. I think last season was just the tip of the ice berg, and if you look at the stats Derozan since the Gay trade he’s averaging aroudn 23-24 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 4 APG. That’s pretty good, and it’s just the first season of his success. Now that he knows his team is good enough to make the playoffs, I can only imagine what he could produce from here on out. He’s got an incredible drive and passion for the game, and some of the styles he models himself after are Kobe and Wade (pretty good examples). He was one of the best players in the fourth quarter last year as well, so you know he can bring it towards the end of the game (along with Lowry). Really, I want to see what Derozan can do next year with all of this in effect, and I honestly think he could be the best guard in the “East” by the end of the 2014-2015 season; George is a SF whether you want to admit it or not.

    • Dinos Charitopoulos

      I agree with you, I want to see him next year. If he has a better season (as he always does), then we may have a hidden franchise player. Superstar? No, but we may not need superstars to create a superstar team.
      From the other hand, I was so disappointed from the 20th pick (its too early to say anything about that, cause we may trade some picks to get other player(s) too), and I want the team to be successful every season…and I’m afraid that the only solution to improve is via trade sacrifices…
      Thanks for your comment.

  • Gary73

    Although I recognize Demar as an all star who has improved every year, I agree that T Ross has a higher ceiling particularly as both a 3 point and defensive asset, and I think his best position is the two guard spot held by DD. I would be inclined to get value for Derozan now, even if it costs Lowry. Might be a case of taking one step back for a season to move two ahead subsequently. Difficult decision, and it might be the single most important choice Masai faces.

    • Dinos Charitopoulos

      Hi Gary73, I agree with you that this could be the most important and risky choice that Masai could take right now, if of course he wants to take it.
      Thanks for commenting

  • Jae

    This article is no better than senseless youtube comments. As of right now, i’m not even trading demar for andrew wiggins. Higher Ceiling? Draft picks mean nothing unless they prove it in the NBA level. Look what happened to Anthony Bennet. Unless it’s a once in a decade(or lifetime) player like michael jordan or lebron james, no way i’m trading my proven all star who’s making 9.5mil a year. Why do you think the spurs kept the core of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli? and not trade them when their value is at its highest? and lastly are you kidding with Kevin Love comment? If you can tell me how many “superstars” have come to play for the raptors via free agency or trade, that will surely tell you why that comment was beyond ridiculous.

    • Dinos Charitopoulos

      Firstly thank you for your comments.
      Please don’t compare Bennet with Wiggins…
      Check the 1st (or even 2nd) picks of the last decade and you will see that the busts were not so many…Since 2003 and Lebron’s draft, Bogut, Oden and Bargnani can be considered as “bad” picks, and for a (not) strange reason, the 3 of them are almost 7-footers. You have to be extremely talented and lucky (due to higher injury proneness) to have a “superstar” career if you are a 7-footer.
      About the Spurs and their core: Do you remember what pick was Tim Duncan back in 1997? Nr 1 maybe? Do you remember his stars from his rookie year? Now tell me who number one pick the Raptors had the last decade with kind of stats…If you watch European basketball, you may aware Manu Ginobily before coming to the NBA. Was one of the best “Euro” players back then. Parker improved a lot (due to coach Popovich) but he had very good stats (and presence) from his second season. And last but not least. These 2 players came during a very successful period of the Spurs. (2001 and 2002, just after their first championship and during the 2nd one). Nobody destroys a title-contending team. The Raptors cannot be compared to that..