Mar 7, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) carries the ball past Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay (8) during the first half at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

DeMar DeRozan: The New Jrue Holiday?

Just two years ago, the Philadelphia 76ers were a playoff team.  Granted, they just squeaked into the playoffs, but they were a playoff team nonetheless and had youth on their side.  As a front office, they needed to do something drastic in order to try to contend.  They shipped Andre Iquodala to Denver in a four team trade that brought Andrew Bynum back to Philadelphia.

Flash forward a year, and everything had gone wrong.  Andrew Bynum never suited up for the 76ers and the franchise was in desperate need of a new direction.  They found it on draft night, by shipping Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Now, for the Toronto Raptors, the circumstances can’t be much more similar.  A young playoff team, built on a foundation of their dynamic backcourt, and with offseason uncertainty over Kyle Lowry‘s contract situation.  Masai Ujiri finds himself with some very interesting possibilities this summer.  Ultimately, all of his decisions must come down to one question:  What is the ceiling of this current roster?  If Ujiri can’t see ways to build upon the current foundation and make a contender, then a change of direction will need to take place.  And the most viable option to do so might just be to trade DeMar DeRozan.

DeRozan has been a work horse for the Raptors, as only four players have played more minutes them him this season (Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Monta Ellis, and John Wall).  Not only is he putting up career numbers, but he has helped lead the resurgent Raptors to their first playoff appearance in 6 years and the potential to win their division.

When looking at the numbers, it’s shocking how similar of a situation DeMar is in compared to Holiday.  Both recently signed extensions and made their first All-Star appearance.  Comparing Holiday’s last season in Philadelphia to DeMar’s current season in Toronto, you begin to wonder how good of a trade asset the Raptors have on their hands.

Player Season Age G MP FG% 3P% 2P% FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
DeMar DeRozan 2013-14 24 70 38.4 .429 .302 .452 .818 4.4 3.9 1.1 0.4 2.3 2.5 22.8
Jrue Holiday 2012-13 22 78 37.5 .431 .368 .446 .752 4.2 8.0 1.6 0.4 3.7 2.2 17.7
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/30/2014.

What could make DeMar even more valuable than Holiday, may be the position he plays.  The current depth of starting point guards across the league is deeper than it may have ever been, but shooting guard is a different story.  There are few top-tier shooting guards in the league today, as there has been a gravitation towards 3-and-D type players.  Based on the numbers, is it unreasonable for DeMar to be viewed as a top five player for his position?

Ujiri has always said that his only goal for the Raptors is to bring an NBA Championship to the City of Toronto.  If he believes that trading DeRozan could bring him closer to that goal, then Raptor fans can only hope that he can bring back the type of trade that Philadelphia got for Holiday.

Tags: DeMar DeRozan Jrue Holiday Toronto Raptors

  • Jensan

    Matt, I understand that you need comfort, lets try for real talent how about getting a #3 SF like Luol Deng, who scores rebounds and plays defence 15-17 points a game, and make Terrence Ross your backup 2/3. Get rid of Salmons and resign Patrcik Patterson.
    Do you realize the Raptors are 6-4 without their real first forward off the bench.
    Vasquez is adequate backup for the 1 and 2 , but is slow of foot, and he does a perfect imitation of Jose Calderon, when he doesnt get a a call. You know the Euro Cry Baby routine, even though Vasquez is South American.
    Also drop Hansborough and sign a 7 foot big man with Hands and who can shoot, oh Spencer Hawes for 5 Million dollars would do.

    If you believe Lowry is your PG , give him 4/40. Priced between Drago and Curry. That is a fair assessment.
    The Luxury Tax is 76 million for next year. Dropping Salmons and Psycho saves you 8.2 Million dollars, almost paying for Lowry. Blow off the bottom 3 guys, maybe keep De Colo, and you add your first round pick at about 1.2 and two second rounders. You have 60 Million to 62 Million dollars for Eleven Players and 3 new draft picks. What are you missing a starting SG, unless Terrence Ross, can step up to the plate or a backup Center.
    Next year you get rid of 12.6 Million from your roster, with Chuck Hayes, Landry Fields who has a great looking wife but is a totally shitty NBA player presently.