Also, positions really need to be taken into account....
No one was ever debating whether DeMar is as good or valuable as Curry or Lawson, just that he's far from a bad player, and that it's not fair to say yet that he isn't worth his contract. He could even be good value in the end. The fact that his deal is not too far from theirs is just evidence that they got screwed, not a reason to knock him. This is partly because they play PG, a deep position where it's hard for guys to get max contracts.
There have got to be tons of wings making contracts they don't deserve if compared to such PGs (Holiday should be in this discussion too). Off the top of my head, Nic Batum is a good example. His contract is about 11.5 million per season. It would be hard for anyone to argue that is unfair, especially compared to other guys who play SF or SG. He shouldn't be paid like the elite SFs, the deeper of the wing positions. And he should be paid more than a guy like Demar, or Redick, or his own teammate Matthews. But his deal is also in the same ballpark as Holiday, Curry, Lawson...actually higher than the first 2 guys. Now that doesn't seem right to me at all, but it is what it is. It just shows how hard it is to compare value across positions.
Fact # 1: We have Brian Colangelo as GM.
Fact # 2: They don't.
I've been down on DeRozan in the past due to his consistency in facets of the game other than scoring. If he can up his rebounds (i.e. more possessions for the team), up his assists (i.e. more passing/finding open people), and defense (i.e. become more productive than his opponent) then I will love everything about the guy.
At this point in time though he does not do those things consistently and after 4 years in the league I am not optimistic he consistently will.
One thing I do give him credit for this year is upping his win share, PoP, and WPper48. He is approaching average in these categories after a few years of well below.
Final thing on DeMar: he needs a coach to tell him cut down on the 16-23 footers while attacking the rim more and taking more 3's. No need to go in to the math as it is pretty basic but DeMar shooting 32% from 3 is MUCH MUCH MUCH better than his 41% from 16-23 feet.
I thought about this on the way home and this morning after reading all the responses I've that there's no point in bringing up the stats. DeRozan's abilities and inabilities have been well documented on this board so I don't see the point of repeating everything.
A couple points --
(1) I'm no expert on this, but don't know who is a more credible source than Zach Lowe and friends. My view is that people at Grantland are far more credible because they tell the truth. As someone else pointed out, other coaches will never actually say anything bad about another player. Especially Doc Rivers.. he's as classy as classy gets. I'm pretty sure if you took him aside off the record he'd still insist his son had a great year. He's just that kind of guy. Sports journalists rarely criticize players too, because they need to maintain their ability to access them and they have some responsibilities about not offering too much personal opinion or showing bias. So really, the most credible source to me is someone like Zach Lowe, who follows the sport religiously and writes (with others) what I consider one of the few truthful blogs out there. It's not like we're talking about a Bleacher report.
And if you really wanted to nitpick, read between the lines at what Doc Rivers DIDN'T say. He didn't say DeRozan defends well, or scores well. He didn't say DeRozan is a great player either. He simply said he defends and shoots and is a complete player. And that he works hard. By Doc Rivers' definition of a complete player, there are no incomplete players on the Raptors. Even if Bargnani is poor at it and does it all wrong, he still "defends".
(2) I never said DeRozan sucked. I said he wasn't very good, and I still don't think he deserves his contract extension. Call me crazy, but I think you have to be very good to be gifted a 4 year contract worth $38M. Even if two years down the road DeRozan is earning every penny, we're still looking at a year or two of wasted money and wasted flexibility. I'm all about cap flexibility and keeping options open, and offering a guy money that he *might* be worth in a couple of years is how you run franchises into the ground.
This is by no means DeRozan's fault. Very rarely will you find me posting negative things about a player (other than Bargnani) without making some kind of reference of whose fault it is (Colangelo). The way to succeed in the NBA is to, whenever possible, acquire and sign players with talent for less than they're worth. With DeMar's contract, we did the opposite. That's what separates and prevents us from being a good team.
The points regarding long shots that MAtt52 made above can be extended to a brief team comparison between the Warriors and Raps:
In terms of % of total shots taken, TOR - 25.3 @ 16-23 ft and 26.7 from 3pt
GSW - 26.7 @ 16-23 ft and 25.1 from 3pt
League avg - 23.4 @ 16-23 ft and 25.2 from 3pt
In terms of shooting percentages, TOR - 36.2 @ 16-23 ft and 51 (eFG%) from 3pt
GSW - 40.3 @ 16-23 ft and 60 (eFG%) from 3pt
League avg - 38.3 @ 16-23 ft and 53.8 (eFG%) from 3pt
The Raps are above average takers from distance, but below average makers from distance. The Warriors, however, are above average makers, while being above average takers from 16-23 ft and just about average from 3pt range. The Warriors are a much better distance shooting team. The Raps, clearly, weren't playing to their strengths, and took too many shots from areas they aren't very good at.
Lets compare DD and RG (our main shooters, unfortunately) with Curry and Thompson, whom I think are the main shooters for GSW. I have also separated RG w/Memphis from RG w/Toronto.
DeRozan, 40% FG from 16-23ft and 36.8 eFG% from 3pt range
Gay (TOR), 30% FG from 16-23ft and 36.6 eFG% from 3pt range
Gay (MEM), 35% FG from 16-23ft and 46.5 eFG% from 3pt range
Curry, 44% FG from 16-23ft and 67.8 eFG% from 3pt range
Thompson, 41% FG from 16-23ft and 59.6 eFG% from 3pt range
Clearly, TOR's jump shooting offense is trumped by GSW's jump shooting offense. No surprise here. The Warriors have great pure shooters in the roles of jump shooters, while the Raptors have poor jump shooters in those roles.
So, this is perhaps one reason (of many) to explain why the Warriors have been much more successful than the Raps in just one season. However, this is certainly far from an in depth analysis, and a close examination of their respective offensive styles would be necessary before any concrete conclusions can be made. Perhaps the Warriors play a style that is more condusive to getting open distance shots compared to the Raps. Maybe they have a better inside/outside game or better ball movement that gets guys open looks. I'm not sure, but I do know from watching the Raptors this season that they did very little to get guys open and that many of their distance shots were contested.
Looking at the Gay stats above, there is a significant drop off in his distance shooting %'s from Memphis to Toronto (-5% from 16-23ft, and -10% in eFG from 3pt range). That is quite a difference in my opinion, and may be attributable to a difference in Rudy's role and style of play between the two teams. Memphis is a powerhouse up front and this may have helped Rudy get better looks from distance.
So, now I understand why some people on here got a hard on for a post-up PF, well, moreso than I was before. I'm still not convinced because I think JV can fill the role of go to guy in the post. I know he is young, but I still want to see him get the ball consistently down low, and try and develop him as much as possible before he gets an extension. I still consider this team to be a project, not quite a rebuild, so I am not anxious to add another fat contract and a guy that will demand the ball. I think Amir is a great pairing with JV, but that of course will depend on JV becoming a good low post player. Clearly, an inside-outside game would benefit the Raptors and help with the outside shooting. Of course, I would never expect DD and RG to shoot like Curry and Thompson, but JV getting the ball consistently in the post should help them get more open looks, and hopefully, they would knock down more of those shots.
I don't think it is fair to crap on Demar. It would be hard to expect him to shoot better given the way the Raps play offense and the lack of a low-post dominant big man that can draw double teams. The same could be said of Rudy. And, all the reasons we may not be satisfied with Demar are reasons we could not be satisifed with Rudy, only in Rudy's case they are even more exaggerated because he is arguably a more talented player with more offensive weapons and a much bigger contract.
Furthermore, in the absense of a great inside-outside game that can draw double teams and provide the opportunity to move the ball around the court, you are basically left with the drive and kick to generate open looks. I didn't see much of that either this season. Lowry is the best option, but he was effectively neutered in this regard early on. If Lowry isn't gonna be given the green light to be aggressive and take the ball to the basket, the double teams wont come and the open looks wont be available.
I don't think RG and DD will ever be great shooters, but they could certainly be much better than they have shown this season in the right system. I doubt Curry and Thompson would have shot like they did this year had they been on this Raptors club.
Somewhere over the course of this season despite showing his improvements DeMar became the new Bargnani of the Raptors to the fans.
I can see a new GM possibly trading DeMar to insert Ross in the starting line up to add the starting PF on to the team. But MLSE stands on something exciting with Rudy and DeMar playing together best believe they are going to be marketed like crazy during preseason.
If I had to be pro demar or anti-demar, I would fall into the anti-demar camp. However, people saying that Demar is unlikely to live up to his contract in no way means he has been anointed as the new-bargs. Personally I think the odds of demar's contract becoming a value contract are less than 50% (whereas, I felt like amir's was over %50) if demar's contact becomes a value contract, does he suddenly become the new-amir?
Also, demar has been marketed "like crazy" before, which wasn't really warranted by his on court production. I'm firmly with ebrian on this one. The name of the game is value contracts, I don't think demar's is a value contract, and I don't think it's likely to become one. So, if you get the chance to trade him in a package that will brings back something decent then you have to consider it.
Does that mean that I think Demar is the new bargs? NO, and I have seen anyone else making that comparison (except that both were awarded contracts on potential rather than output, which a lot more players fall under than just these two).
Similar to a lot of Colangelo's moves, when you view the DD extension in a vacuum it isn't an egregious mistake. They will pay him $9.5 million over the next four seasons. In my opinion, he should be making $6-7 million per season. So yes I do think DeRozan is overpaid but let's not act like this is Gilbert Arenas or Rashard Lewis making $20 million. On it's face, it's an extension for a young player that is in the ballpark of what he deserves to be paid.
What bothers me about the extension is the timing of it, and that Colangelo has seemingly bid against himself once again to retain one of his players. BC & the Raps held all the cards with DD - they could have used this season to further gauge his value and had the right to match any offer for him this summer in restricted free agency. If his production remained static or increased only marginally, they get to offer him something very close to his open market value this summer and he probably would have accepted. If another team happened to throw him a $50 million dollar contract over 4 years or something - which I think would have been incredibly unlikely by the way - then the Raptors would have the flexibility to either match it or walk away. They also would have had a lot more options to trade him this season without the extension looming overhead of any team that acquired him.
All of the options would have been on the table in that scenario: They could trade him, they could re-sign him outright themselves, they could match an offer of another team and retain him that way, or they could let him walk to another team if they felt their offer was just too high. Instead, Colangelo proactively overpays for him and thinks he's the smartest guy in the room. Oh, and this is right after they used the #8 pick on a shooting guard a couple months before and right before they packaged all of their trade assets to acquire another overpaid player with a lot of redundant qualities. No vision. No foresight. No plan. All his moves are made in a vacuum and the results are as expected.
THE ONLY reason Curry is making "so little" is his health issues (read ankles). This was by far his healthiest season. Realistically, 50 games a season is fairly good for him. DeRozan will likely give you 70 Plus games.
Lets be fair & realistic. Curry & Thompson are IMO best 1-2 shooting combo in NBA, so it is not a surprise that Demar & Rudy come up a"a bit short" in that comparison.
No it isn't, but the point was that the Raps shoot about the same % of total shots from distance, with clearly inferior shooters. We need to change our offense and play to the players strengths.