The Raptors haven’t made the postseason since 2008, but the future is still bright for Toronto. One of the reasons why is DeMar DeRozan. While DeRozan didn’t have the season fans expected from him this year, he is still a very young and talented player.
It would be a mistake for the Raptors to give up on a shooting guard with so much potential. Here are five reasons DeMar DeRozan should be the future of the Raptors franchise.
Fans are beginning to give up on DeMar DeRozan, which is insane considering he’s only 22. If he decided to stay four years at USC, he would be drafted this year.
While players like LeBron James and Tim Duncan were stars when they first came into the league, for most All-Star players, it takes years before they’ve reached their potential.
Consistency comes with time, and once DeRozan becomes a consistent scorer, he will be the Raptors’ go-to guy offensively.
DeRozan was drafted because of his raw potential. Coming out of college, he was an extremely athletic player who couldn’t shoot. Considering he is a poor shooter yet he can still be so dangerous offensively shows the sky’s the limit once he develops a jumper.
Right now, DeRozan lacks both a mid-range game and a three-point shot. If he can develop one of those two parts to his game within the next couple years, he will be one of the better shooting guards in the Eastern Conference.
DeRozan faced criticism from fans early in the year for his poor shooting. The lockout clearly played a big part, as his shooting numbers were much better after January. After shooting just .367 from the field in January, he shot .455 in February, .436 in March and .431 in April.
While the Raptors would like to see these numbers continue to go up, if DeRozan works hard on his shot in the offseason, there is a good chance he will be an even better shooter next year.
One of the Raptors' biggest weaknesses this season was scoring the basketball. While they improved mightily on the defensive end, they were rarely able to score 100 points in a game—especially with Andrea Bargnani out for half the season.
However, DeRozan can’t be blamed for that.
After starting off the year slowly, DeRozan averaged 18.5 points per game in February and 18.7 points per game in March. These aren’t spectacular numbers, but with Bargnani out, so much pressure was on him to score.
Very few players on the Raptors were capable of creating their own shot, and as a result, DeRozan often had the other team’s best defender on him.
With a better team next year, DeRozan will find it easier to score the basketball.
While DeRozan may not have had a great year this year, neither did any of the other shooting guards in the Raptors’ division. Ray Allen aged greatly this year, Landry Fields is a good role player, Marshon Brooks is just a rookie and Evan Turner is extremely inconsistent.
If the Raptors decide to keep DeMar, they will have that advantage at shooting guard for years to come. With the league beginning to become point-guard-driven, it is very difficult to find a good shooting guard.
The Raptors are lucky to have DeRozan on their roster.