DeMar Derozan Heating Up for the Toronto Raptors

Patrick BrittonAnalyst IFebruary 23, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 25: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the Toronto Raptors drives on Monta Ellis #8 of the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on March 25, 2011 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

It’s no secret Demar Derozan has been a disappointment for the Toronto Raptors this season, but the kid from Cali has been impressive in the last three games, putting in 29, 24 and 23 points respectively.

The big question is if Derozan can continue this hot streak the rest of the season or will cool off after the all-star break. Last year Derozan started off even slower than this year, but was arguably the Raptors best player by season’s end.  

If Derozan is able to continue his success, he makes Leandro Barbosa a lot more expendable when the trade deadline arrives. The Raptors have struggled to score the ball this year and are currently desperate for Barbosa’s offense.

However, if Derozan turns himself into a 20+ ppg scorer at shooting guard, it gives Bryan Colangelo the opportunity to shop Barbosa to a contending team that needs scoring off the bench in return for a draft pick and/or prospects.

If Derozan becomes a quality scorer in the NBA and a player the Raptors can count on to get them a basket when they need it, then Toronto will have a decent young core when they enter 2013.

With Jonas Valanciunas hopefully coming over and the arrival of a lottery pick (Harrison Barnes?), all of a sudden the Raptors will have the talent and athleticism needed to challenge for a playoff spot next year.