With all due respect to Nathan Jawai, it has been some time since I’ve been as excited about a Raptors rookie as I am with DeMar DeRozan. Andrea Bargnani, maybe, but even he took some time to grow on me. Anyway, you’ve likely heard the comparison — DeRozan is the next Vince Carter, so they say. That’s fine by me, as long as he doesn’t play three good years and take the rest of his career off.
DeRozan, who entered the draft after just one year at USC and was born and raised Straight Outta Compton, is already getting consideration for a starting spot from the outset of his first NBA training camp. According to The Star’s Doug Smith, the rookie is coach Jay Triano’s guy, but he’s not “going to give it to him”. Smith suggests starting DeRozan and giving him six or seven minutes at the beginning of each half to gel with the starting unit, then make way for the rest of the crew — Antoine Wright, Marco Belinelli and Jarrett Jack, who I’m assuming will see some time at the two as well as backing up Jose Calderon.
Regardless of his role to start the season, I’m pumped to have a kid like this on the team. Just 20 and dubbed by many as the most athletic player in the draft, I’m surprised he dropped to ninth, considering how many teams draft on potential alone these days. Then again, he’ll have to live up to that “next Carter” title. Here’s hoping he does (and that he doesn’t turn into a baby, get hurt, stop trying, leave Toronto and proceed to destroy every other team he plays for. Have fun Orlando!).