DeMar DeRozan Needs to Watch His Back

We didn’t get a three, we got a two.

If you haven’t already seen the video scouting report on Terrence Ross and/or have never heard of this site called Draft Express, check this video out, it says something about the player:

I don’t want to undersell the guy, but I’ll say on day one of his NBA career he’ll be James Johnson plus a three-point shot and minus the petulance. If that turns out to be the case, it’s not too shabby a start to his NBA career. Once you start evaluating the pick and not the player, you start to like more and more, and let’s face it, if Hollinger/Ford/DX hadn’t ranked him in the teens, and he had been the subject of the hype machine as much as Jeremy Lamb, nobody would’ve questioned this pick. I’m not saying give Colangelo a pass, all I’m saying is that he deserves the benefit of the doubt, especially since we know Hollinger and Co. to be wrong quite often. Of course, there are many cases where the pundits have trumped the GMs (ahem, Hoffa) and so be it, but right now the coin’s up in the air and nobody’s in a position to call it. Wait, did that analogy even make sense?

The reason for the underwhelming nature of draft night wasn’t, at least for me, so much the pick than the talk leading up to it. There was the Lowry trade talk, some stuff about Iggy and Gay from a couple weeks back, chatter about trading up, even Colangelo saying that he’s looking at options going eiter way in the draft, blah blah, and at the end of the night you get a guy nobody’s heard of. It’s like telling a friend that he’s about to get a massive birthday present, hype it up for a few weeks and when the big day comes long you buy him the Balero.

The Balero might be a fine toy entertaining millions around the world, but it’s not exactly something you’d be pumped to see at first sight, unless you were in fact, very familiar with all the various and diverse ways this toy can be used. All we can hope is that Colangelo and his team have researched the Balero to its fullest, and that the Balero won’t be thrown away by the wayside like other toys advertised as being shiny (ahem, DeRozan, Davis, Alabi).

The question of position has been raised too, with Colangelo saying that he ideally sees Ross at the off-guard. This is great news because it might light a fire under DeRozan (not that you need a fire at this stage of your career); he’s been a little complacent at times and not having to look over his shoulder often enough might have swayed him into a dull sense of contentment. Ross, based on the limited I’ve seen and heard, isn’t going to play the role of a rookie happy just to get minutes, he’ll compete to win the starting job and if DeRozan reacts the way he reacted to Alan Anderson having a few good games, watch out.

It’s hard to think of this pick as insurance at the two, and you’re inclined to see it more as basketball fit, specifically as Casey stated, as a much needed perimeter threat, increased defense, and another option in the zone setup. Whatever the case, we did improve our depth in a position where depth was an issue. And that’s something I don’t think everyone quite recognizes, we see DeRozan at the two and think that position is addressed, or at least on its way to being addressed when nothing of the sort is the case. You could even argue that the two is as big a question mark as the one. Right?

For his defense, I’ll warn you now, don’t expect him to be a “lock down defender” for two reasons: 1) there aren’t many in the NBA and it’s actually very difficult/impossible to be “lock down” good at defense (speaking in the complete sense of the word), and 2) he doesn’t have great quickness, his wingspan isn’t great, and his reach is average. He doesn’t have a God-given physical advantage on defense, and from a pure physical POV, he’s in Chris Jefferies’ boat. Wow!!! Arse, what say you??? Let me finish man, Jefferies was a pothead (nothing wrong with that, BTW) who couldn’t be bothered to raise a hand on D, and obviously Ross is different in that regard so the comparisons end at the physical level. Listen man, all I’m saying is that it’ll take him some time and that Casey is banking on player mentality as much as he is on physical characteristics.

Nice quote from the guy from yesterday’s press conference (small but good enough recap here):

“My defensive ability is something I like to take pride in, something I’ve learned a lot over the last two years in school. I think that’s one thing people don’t know about me, my ability to play defence.”

The press conference was generic at best, reminded me of this one.

If you haven’t checked out the Hangout with Terrence Ross, here it is:

In some bizarre news at best, the Raptors not only picked up the option on Bayless (around $4M, fine, understandable as depth is low at PG), but on Sonny Weems ($1M) who I last saw here in a cast. The Raptors also pulled the plug on Solomon Alabi so all this turned out to be bullshit.

Finally, I didn’t say this yesterday and it’s my fault: Big thank you to St. Louis Bar and Grill for hosting the event, and all the people for showing up. I’m always surprised at the sheer diversity of hardcore Raptor fans and especially, RR visitors. Thank you, we are humbled.

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