DeMar DeRozan to Receive More Time at PG for Raptors During 2017-18 Season

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2017

Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan looks up in the second half in Game 1 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Monday, May 1, 2017, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 116-105. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Expect to see the ball in Toronto Raptors star DeMar DeRozan's hands more during the 2017-18 season.

According to Bryan Meler of Sportsnet, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey appeared on Sportsnet 590 The FAN on Wednesday and said he plans on using DeRozan at a point guard at times in the upcoming campaign.  

"We got to have a better mentality of ball movement, man movement and spacing. … DeMar DeRozan, have him handle the ball a bit more as a point guard, a facilitator, a passer. Kyle Lowry moving the ball a bit more, spacing up. We don't want to give our whole 'What we're going to try to do next year' away, but again it comes down to passing the basketball and better spacing more so, than ... one-on-one play."

Meler explained DeRozan was more of a facilitator when point guard Kyle Lowry was out for 20 games with injuries in 2016-17, tallying 4.4 assists per game. The total would mark a career-high for DeRozan if he posted it throughout an entire season.

Casey stressed the need for more ball movement, which harkened back to a concern DeMarre Carroll shared after he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets this offseason.

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"I wasn't happy, my agent, we thought the style of ball was going to be different, it was going to be more team-oriented, but I guess it was still ISO (isolation), so I thought they would have moved me last year, but that didn't happen," he said, per Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.

DeRozan was the primary iso player for the Raptors in 2016-17. According to NBA.com, he was 15th in the league and first on the Raptors with a 17.1 percent isolation frequency during the regular season.

Putting DeRozan at point guard would give the playmaker more of an opportunity to spread the ball around and get others involved as the Raptors look to close the gap with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference in the upcoming campaign.