Better Know a Draft Pick: DeMar DeRozan

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

As soon as I posted the first in the "Better Know a Draft Pick" series, featuring Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers, it was announced that the Sixers were no longer an affiliate of the Erie BayHawks, replaced by the Toronto Raptors. So, in today's post I'll look at the Raptors lone selection, DeMar DeRozan.

The Good
DeRozan is one of the best athletes in the draft. He has the build of an NBA wing player and the athleticism to get to the rim. He's also a good fit for Toronto because they appear to be in rebuilding mode with Chris Bosh likely on his way out of town at the end of next season if not sooner. DeRozan gives them a solid building block for the future and a potential star.

The Bad
He's still young and raw as a talent. He averaged just 13.9 points and 1.5 assists per game in his one year at USC. He also needs to develop his outside game as he shot just 16.7 percent from 3-point range in college. He has an explosive first step, but defenders will back off him and dare him to shoot with such a poor outside shooting percentage.

The Unknown
Researching DeMar DeRozen, there's a lot of positive hype out there. Among the claims I saw, he was called the next Andre Iguodala, the next Vince Carter, and the next Paul Pierce. If he amounts to any of those or some combination of them, he'll be a a steal at the number nine pick. The question is, how will he develop, and will he develop quickly enough for the Raptors to reap the benefits of his potential before his rookie contract is up?

The chances he'll see playing time for the Erie BayHawks
33 1/3 percent: As the new affiliate of the BayHawks, there's no telling yet just how this relationship will work, but the proximity of Toronto to Erie should allow for more interaction than Erie saw last year from its partnership with Philadelphia. Plus, as young and unpolished as DeRozan is, he could really benefit from a few games honing his skills in the D-League.

Final Thoughts
While Brandon Jennings would have been another interesting selection, the choice of DeRozan made sense for the Raptors. His development will mean a lot in terms of the team's future, which means they should seriously investigate the option of including the D-League and the BayHawks in that process.


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About this blog/blogger

Blog Talk BayHawk is an unofficial Erie BayHawks blog covering the NBA D-League. It features opinions and information about the NBADL and the Erie BayHawks. Blog Talk BayHawk is written from a basketball fan’s perspective to fill In the gaps left by professional journalists’ coverage of BayHawks basketball and the Erie professional basketball scene.

Matt Hubert is a 25-year-old writer and basketball fanatic born and raised in Erie, Pa. He graduated from Mercyhurst College in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in English and a dual concentration in writing and creative writing. Matt's not wavering from his stance as a lifelong Los Angeles Lakers fan, but he will cover the BayHawks' NBA affiliates in Cleveland and Toronto when it makes sense to do so throughout the year.

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