DeMar DeRozan: Expectations For The Raptors Rookie

Stephen Brotherston@@ProBballNBAAnalyst ISeptember 24, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - MARCH 22:  DeMar DeRozan #10 of the USC Trojans brings the ball up court against the Michigan State Spartans during the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on March 22, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Michigan State won 74-69. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

When asked if the Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan is going to be the next Vince Carter, fans responded with their thoughts. 

Dave at the NBA Roundtable came back with some particularly well thought out ideas.

First off, it was concluded that DeRozan doesn’t really look much like Vincent Lamar Carter coming out of college (the Raptors big draft miss Andre Iguodala was the better comparison).

But two players Dave mentioned looked like good comparisons were ones that hadn’t been considered.  Nick Anderson, drafted in 1989 by the Magic and Jason Richardson, currently with the Suns.

Well, Anderson may be a bit of a reach. But if one looks at his college and NBA careers, Dave has got a point.  And, old on-line pictures of Anderson even kind of remind one of DeRozan.

But when looking at Jason Richardson’s college and NBA careers, his pre-draft measurements, and his scouting reports—well now we're talking.

At 6-foot-5.75 in shoes, 213 pounds, and with the same standing reach of 8-foot-6.5. Richardson has a max vertical only one inch higher than DeRozen. They even tested at similar speeds. Richardson was stronger, but this should be expected from a two-year college player versus DeRozen, who only played one year.

In college Richardson shot a similar 50 percent and struggled from three-point range.  Plus he had similarly poor free throw shooting.  And thus, a pattern develops.

Richardson’s college boards, steals, and blocks were lower than DeRozan's in year one, but he passed him in year two, just like one might expect from a second year college player.

The Draft Express and NBA descriptions of Richardson’s game do sound a lot like DeRozan’s. He is described as having good footwork and mechanics on his shot but is not an advanced ball handler—seems similar enough.

Richardson became a great NBA scorer after he perfected his three-point shot, which took about five seasons.  DeRozan should be able to shoot the three-ball, but it will likely take some time. (Hopefully, for Raptors fans, less time.)

Now DeRozan’s game may develop differently than Richardson’s, but right now it looks like he could be J-Rich 2.0.

Richardson had first year NBA stats of: 14.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3 apg, 1.3 stl, 0.4 blks in an average of 32 minutes per game.  If DeRozan plays 32 minutes, a similar stat line should not surprise anyone.

It's unlikely one would have thought to look at Richardson’s career as a good comparison for DeRozan, but Dave found a really good one here! 

Kudos to Dave at NBA Roundtable for finding a really good projected player comparison.

Of course, one realizes the sentimental choice still has to be Andre Iguodala. The similarities between DeRozan and Iguodala’s game are there. Iguodala is someone Raptors fans can’t help but look at when thinking of DeRozan, licking their chops for a similar talent.

Checkout more on how DeRozan compares to Carter and Iguodala here.

Until Raptors fans can forget that embarrassing 2004 draft, they will be looking for someone to “correct” that disaster and make us look forward.

The pain is still there.