Demar DeRozan is Toronto's greatest asset, and some could argue he's the best player on the team. No Raptors fan in their right mind would want to trade DeRozan, but if you had to, what would you want for him? What could the Raptors get back for DeRozan?
So often we see players being overvalued and others being shipped away from scraps despite both being very similar talents on the court. An example of an unfair market value would be Andrew Bynum. Sure he's a top-5 center in the NBA while healthy, but if you were to ask a Lakers fan their opinion on a Bynum-for-Okafor trade they'll probably hit you regardless of the fact that Okafor is also a young double-double guy who will play many more games than Bynum. Something like "potential" being tabbed on a player could vastly improve his value even after years have gone by without any support to the claim. Players like Courtney Lee and Daniel Gibson, among others, have been in the league for multiple seasons without "breaking out," yet many categorize them as equals to much more productive players like O.J Mayo and Reggie Williams.
Don't get me wrong I am in no way trying to suggest DeRozan is overrated like others mentioned above nor am I suggesting any trade. Instead I am just exploring what type of value DeRozan could bring back based on his status as a young star, and I will try to judge whether such a trade would be considered lop-sided by fans and how it would really play out on the court.
So here it is! I'll be listing some of the players' who's names have been been mentioned in rumors, and a few others just for fun. The slides will be presented in this order:
Trade Example: Just an example of a trade involving the two players being discussed, the trade itself and the"fillers" that might be involved don't effect later arguments, so don't pay to much attention to the sample trade.
My Take: Just an overview of the trade, and it's "my take" for a reason; you're totally encouraged to leave your take on these trade ideas in the comments section!
Higher Valued player: Which player is considered more valuable to fans, and why (if there's even a reason)
Winners of the trade: Overall winner of the trade and why, it could be surprising how the final result could differ from fans' views.
Trade example: Monta Ellis and Charlie Bell for Derozan and Calderon
My take: Monta Ellis is a superstar, and Derozan could be a superstar. Ellis just came off a stellar season where he averaged 24 PPG on an offensively stacked team. Ellis is small and weak on defense, while DeRozan has been just as passive on defense in the past, but has the tools to be pretty good. Potential and salaries are important here, but overall opinions on such a trade idea should be pretty one sided.
Higher Valued Player: Ellis, he's still got a good 4-5 years of his prime ahead of him, and I feel only a small group of people actually feel DeRozan will ever average at least 25 points in a season (no knock on him, that's a hard stat line to maintain).
Winners of the trade: Toronto, DeRozan would be a huge success if he could hit the 20 point mark in his third year, and steadily rise to average around 22-23 points in his prime years. None of that is guaranteed though, but at the same time it's almost guaranteed Ellis does just as good (if not better) offensively.
Trade Example: Mayo and picks for DeRozan
My Take: Mayo was posting up even better numbers than DeRozan in his first and second years, but dropped off totally last season. He had a good playoffs, but overall he has digressed as a player, while DeRozan will likely improve.
Higher Valued player: Demar DeRozan, and rightly so. DD is only 21 years of age and doesn't come with any baggage the way Mayo has. I think it's fair to say most fans would go with DeRozan.
Winners of the trade: Memphis, but if Mayo has a "best case" bounce back season next year, it could be a draw because Mayo looked like a future 25-point scorer in his rookie and sophomore seasons. Assuming things stay relatively the same between these two though, DeRozan is clearly the better player and this one is obvious.
Trade Example: Micheal Beasley and Darko Milicic for Demar DeRozan and Linas Kleiza
My Take: This one is where it gets juicy. I recently wrote about Beasley and made my opinion clear that he's a underrated player. Beasley had a breakout season, averaging 19.2 points and 5.6 boards, compared to DeRozan's 17.2 points and 3.8 boards. Beasley has been in the league for three seasons and DeRozan has completed only two years in the NBA. Both players are oozing with potential being 22 and 21 years of age respectively. The T-Wolves were the worst team in the league, but one could argue that the DeRozan had just as much opportunity to shine on the Raptors who were only a little better. The result of such a trade be based on how much Beasley and DeRozan can improve, which could be impossible to determine at this point.
Higher Valued player: Demar Derozan is valued as much higher than Beasley as he doesn't come with any of the baggage that Beasley comes with. Amongst fans DeRozan is usually viewed as an all-star who is yet to put up all-star numbers (similar to guys like Brandon Jennings and John Wall), but Beasley is just a "good" player who might become an all-star (kind of like Wes Matthews and Wilson Chandler).
There were rumors the Wolves wanted DeRozan for the second-overall pick but the Raptors declined, and that alone shows how much more valuable DeRozan is to people because that second overall draftee is the main reason why Beasley is rumored to be on the trading block.
Winners of the trade: The Winner of this trade would be Minnesota only because it'd be a dream situation for them having drafted a SF with the No. 2 overall draft pick. I personally believe that if we look at what both players have done and what they can do, based on shear talent, the result of such a trade would be a tie or close to it. Shocks me that Beas' could be traded for role players when the season starts.
Trade Example: Brook Lopez for Demar DeRozan
My Take: Brook Lopez hasn't been named in many trade rumors (unless you think Dwight Howard to NJ will ever happen), but I've put him on here because such a trade is very debatable. Lopez is viewed as one of the best centers in the league and is expected to be an all-star. Lopez is a great shooter from the line and Lopez just finished his third season while Derozan has only finished his second. Lopez has improved his scoring every year he's been in the league but saw his rebounding numbers drop from 8.7 to 5.9 last season. DeRozan wasn't tagged with nearly as much potential as Lopez when first coming into the league, and Lopez accomplished more than DeRozan at the same stage of their careers.
Higher Valued player: Brook Lopez is the higher valued player. The reason why is because of the "franchise player" tag given to him soon after he entered the league. Lopez was picked relatively high (10), while being in a stacked draft class in 2008. Brook Lopez is one of the few talented 7-footers, which also adds to his value. Lopez slipped in rebounding last season, but at least he has shown he could be a presence on the glass in his first two seasons (unlike Bargnani).
Both players are on bad teams, and while Lopez improved his scoring to a remarkable 20.4 PPG last season, he hasn't improved in huge leaps the way DeRozan is expected to. If we were to put up a poll on how much could DeRozan score next season i'm positive the majority of fans would vote around 20-23 PPG, which is more than what Lopez would be expected to do. It also helps Demar's value that he's a prolific dunker because his highlights clearly show he's got the athleticism to be great. Overall though, if Brook Lopez is still viewed as a 20-8-2 Center, he is valued higher than DeMar.
Winners of the trade: Nets. The Nets win the trade because Lopez saw his rebounding drop considerably because of a Kris Humphries. Sure Hump was great on the glass but one could argue it was because of Lopez that his stats were inflated. It makes me wonder how much closer Brook would look like his twin Robin if he had played alongside a real PF like Zach Randolph or Kevin Love.
Also we have to understand that Lopez is unlikely to improve as much as Demar because even if he works on his strength and post moves, it won't give him the boost to do much better than he currently is. If Lopez were to reach superstar level he would need to add speed and athleticism which isn't something you can really train.
On the same token, DeRozan's numbers seem to be based on his intangibles alone, and he mainly needs improvement on very coach-able areas. Demar Derozan is 21 years of age vs Lopez' 23 years, and even though Lopez is a center, the shooting guard position is the second weakest in the NBA. By really trying to measure the potential these players have it's clear that DeRozan would be the better player in such a trade despite Lopez being a great player on his own.
Trade Example: Brandon Jennings for Demar DeRozan
My Take: Jennings was rumored on the block towards the end of last season after the Bucks were in the lottery after a breakout 2009-2010 campaign. Jennings was a star rookie and was a contender for the Rookie of the Year award after he lead his team to the playoffs while scoring in bunches. Last season Jennings was in a sophomore slump, and injuries and inconsistency really hurt his production. A trade like this would be interesting as DeRozan and Jennings were childhood friends and have similar games.
Higher Valued player: Tie. Jennings isn't viewed as a future superstar anymore, but if you asked anybody this question last year, everybody would say Jennings is much better. This past season Jennings took a step back while DeRozan took a leap forward, and overall I believe both players are looked at highly by their fans.
Winners of the trade: Bucks. The potential that Jennings has is equal to that of DeRozan to me because his past season could easily be defined as a sophomore slump. If you saw Jennings before last season you'd see a leader and a very crafty scoring point guard. Jennings could just as easily turn out to average 20+ PPG starting next season.
The reason why DeRozan is the better player though is because of their positions. Jennings isn't the greatest passer, and the lack of ball-distribution made the Bucks so offensively stagnant last year despite having a talented roster. Jennings is 6'1" and only 169 pounds which could lead to him being pushed around by bigger guards, and on defense he will have to expend much more energy guarding the many talented PG's in the NBA. Since there seems to be an excess of talented point guards in the NBA, Jennings could be benched or replaced if he doesn't improve in other areas outside of scoring (similar to the way former Sixth Man Aaron Brooks was benched last year).
DeRozan has the upper hand because even though he's 6'7" (more typical height for a small forward), he has the athleticism to dominate as a shooting guard. Shooting guards are mainly used as scoring options and the position is much weaker than it was 5-6 years ago. DeRozan isn't much of a defender, but his size will make it easier for him to improve on that end of the floor which is a luxury Jennings doesn't have.
Trade Example: Demar Derozan and Leandro Barbosa for Rudy Gay and Tony Allen
My Take: Rudy Gay is an all-star level player who's biggest flaw is has nothing to do with his game and everything to do with what Grizzlies management was smoking when they offered him a max contract. As far as how talented the players are, I'd have to say Rudy Gay is the better player as of now. Rudy Gay and Demar DeRozan are actually similar players whose game's are based around their scoring ability. Rudy Gay had a breakout year in his second season just like DeRozan did where he went from scoring under 11 PPG as a rookie to 20 PPG in his second year. Both Gay and DeRozan are super athletic and both players were sub-par on defense in their first two seasons despite having great physical tools.
Higher Valued player: Rudy Gay is the higher valued player because he has been around long enough to solidify his name as a 20-point scorer. In the first three months Gay was scoring over 21 PPG but his heavy minutes lead to fatigue which hurt his numbers after that.
While DeRozan is highly touted by Raptor fans, there is a large number of fans who forget to mention him as one of the better young talents in the NBA.
Winners of the trade: Toronto wins in such a trade but it's very close to a tie.
Gay has been in the league for five years and is still relatively young at 24 years old. Rudy Gay has shown he's capable of being a good player, and even though he hasn't averaged 22-23 points per game which is what some feel DeRozan could do, if Rudy Gay were to be on the Raptors I'm positive we'd see well over 20 PPG from him.
Some will argue that the Grizzlies did fine without Gay on the Roster, but I feel they could have gone even farther with him. DeRozan is a hard worker and a winner at heart, but at this point nothing guarantees that things will pan out for Demar the way it has for Gay.
It's just a matter of proven star for possible star, but even if we leave it at that it's very close.
*note: "winners of the trade" heading isn't factoring in in Rudy Gay's contract.
In conclusion I'd like to say that the point of the post was not to suggest any specific trade, it was to really look at Demar Derozan's talent and potential and compare it to other players without adding any "hype" to the players' discussed.
It's amazing how something like media could make some players much higher valued than others who play just as well on the court. It's not just fans, time and time again we see underrated players involved in lop-sided trades which is amazing.
The Raptors have a talented young guard, but sometimes as fans we could get carried away because of the "hype." Here I tried my best to compare DeRozan's value to other young players and came to conclusions based on the reasons mentioned.
How I judge talent is based on my own opinion, and I want to know what you think. Do you agree/disagree with any of the slides? Is DeRozan better or worse than some of the players mentioned? If you had a say in it, what would it take for you to trade away Demar DeRozan? Comment below and let us know!
As always thanks for reading!