Chicago Bulls v Toronto Raptors

After being part of the Select Team last summer, DeMar DeRozan has been named┬áto the 27-man roster that will make up Team USA’s mini-camp this summer in Las Vegas.

The obvious positives here are that DeRozan will get some summer action in against the best young American players in the NBA and will hopefully use the camp as another instrument in helping him develop his game, but at the end of the day, this isn’t that selective of a group. Again, there are 27 guys that are going to be there (and this doesn’t include the cream of the crop names either), so it’s not exactly like the selection qualifies DeRozan as a bona fide young star.

Nevertheless, DeMar’s inclusion in the camp will likely once again spark up the debate among Raptors fans as to what exactly the 23-year-old’s future is in Toronto, if there even is one. DeRozan unquestionably improved his game last season, especially his court vision and play making, and he seemed to finally begin figuring things out from behind the arc over the final stretch of the campaign, but it’s still a major stretch to say that he improved by enough to justify his four-year, $38 million extension.

And that’s the difference when it comes to evaluating DeRozan’s worth this summer as opposed to previous years. We’ve always had questions about his development, his ceiling and his future worth to the Raptors in general. Only when we’ve raised those questions in off-seasons of the past, we were still talking about a young player on a rookie scale contract. Now, we’re asking a lot of the same questions, only DeRozan is set to earn $9.5 million next season and in the three seasons to follow.

Whether you’re looking for DeRozan to thrive in Toronto or just hoping he can raise his trade value by enough to give Masai Ujiri another option to consider, here’s hoping a strong performance at the Americans’ mini-camp is the first step to a successful 2013-14 season that finally sees DeRozan answer many of those omnipresent questions.

Comments (33)

  1. Good for him. That’s a good list of names to be a part of.

    Even though, as mentioned, this doesn’t include the full Sr. roster, it does say something when he’s being included in this over other players. To me, that says something of how people in the league view him.

  2. I’d like to think DeMar will have another 1-2 seasons to grow into his contract, but with the redundancy of DD, Gay, and Ross, you’d have to think one or two of those guys will be moved – and DeRozan is probably the most tradeable.

    • I hope not, I really love him. He works hard and down the stretch with gay, they did good but I realize not their contracts are bad. I feel trading Rudy is the better option cause his contract is too much ( he gets more then any of the big 3 of the heat!)… Also Ross needs minutes and time to develop

    • i hate to say it but Ross has not made anyone redundant as he was wildly consistent his first year. he had his moments but also looked like a d-leaguer at times. he should have the same role to start next year. And Derozan’s contract is not that trade-able either i think he’s worth more than what he’d fetch right now in the trade market….

  3. What GM in his right mind would trade for Rudy Gay? The second highest player in the league putting up 18PPG, and he still has two years left on his deal. Maybe next year when his expiring contract will be an asset.

  4. @Tony Starks (by the way, when was the last time GFK even made an album?).

    your assessment on Rudy Gay “the second highest paid player in the league”…where you gettin’ this from? He is the 17th highest paid player in the league last year.
    “What GM in his right mind would trade fro Rudy Gay?”…This is such a ridiculous comment – Rudy is the 5th best SF (arguably) in this league, you have: Lebron, Durant, Melo, Pierce, then Rudy and Iggy (5/6).
    Last summer (while with Denver) Masai makes a trade for Iggy and acquires pretty much the same amount of contract Rudy is getting (less one million per year) and fits him in with the Nuggets successfully, making it work very well. Toronto fans would have been upside down if Iggy came here last summer while it was lightly rumored. There are teams and GM’s that would love to have Iggy and would love to have Rudy (with that contract) on their team. The questioning is not in Rudy’s worth and contract value – the questioning in any RG trade is whether two GM’s can agree on a fair trade value…Rudy is coveted – would you rather have Bosh back at 17.5 mill (and by the way, that was him taking a pay cut to play on the Heat team and still makes more then Rudy)…do you think Bosh adds better value? because we would have had to pay him more then 17 per!
    Here are the two players 2012-13 stats
    Iggy (in the brackets are his career averages):
    PTS 13.0 (15.1) / REBS 5,3 (5.8) / DIMES 5.4 (4.9)/ 3′s 31.0% (32.0%)/ FG 45.% (46%)
    Rudy:
    PTS 19.5 (18)/ REBS 6.4 (5.8)/ DIMES 2.8 (2.0)/ 3′s 33.6 (34.3)/ FG 42.5% (45%)

    I know numbers are not everything but if Massai can make the wing combo of Iggy/Gallinari (the often injured – who by the way is signed at more money per year the DD with 4 years left on his contract) work the he can make the Gay/DD combo work. There is a market for Iggy and Danny G – so there is a defiantly a market for Gay and DD – same production, same contracts players. I personally would keep both DD and Gay for next season but if Massai decides not too, there mos-def is a market for both of them.

    • I really don’t understand where all this hate for Rudy is coming from. Like honestly since coming to Toronto he has played consistently. He took pressure away from other players like DD. He rebounds and defends well. He hustles and is athletic. He shoots a few to many jumpers but he was getting his confidence in the last month of the season. The two of them showed that they could co-exist. I think that both of them need to work on there three-point shooting but DD has gotten better each year. There is nothing wrong with having two athletic wings. I will say one thing though, Rudy needs to work on his playmaking similar to what Demar did but I think they should keep both unless its for a star like Milsap or Kevin Love. I’d love to get Wiggins but there is nothing wrong with following the pacers model.

      We really don’t need to tank and I think we have a much better team with Rudy than with Jose and Ed Davis.

      We were able to obtain the highest value asset in that deal. Additionally Rudy could increase invalue because of his massive contract expiring the year after next.

      I honestly think if the Boozer trade (which probably wasn’t a real thing) is still on the table or the Gasol trade is still on the table we could take it and we would have a team that could at the very least give the heat a run for its money.

      The team has a lot of middle age/young talent.

      DD isn’t in his prime yet, while Rudy will be entering his prime in the next year or two and so will Kyle Lowry. I think if the core of this team as it stands stays together it will prove to be a better team than they thought.

      On a side note I hope that a podcast is coming out soon I’ve been checking every day for one!!!!

      One last point I think that they should drop Casey and pick up Karl only because Karl is a better coach…. not because Casey is bad. But I like Casey so lets see how we build from here.

      • The hate on Rudy is because he gets paid way too much for what he brings to the table. It’s unfair in some ways, but players are always going to be judged in relation to their contract — and when you look at what guys making similar money to Rudy bring to the table, it’s hard to argue with dissatisfaction regarding his play.

        I would also argue that Rudy wasn’t consistent, definitely wasn’t a consistent defender (he can be great when he wants to be), and he definitely does not always hustle. The amount of times I saw him get back late, or not at all, on defence because he was complaining to an official was inexcusable. And while I do think Rudy and Demar can coexist in terms of getting along well on and off the floor while both averaging 15+ PPG, that’s not to say that they can lead us to where we want to be (a championship) or even start on a deep-playoff calibre team. Just because it “works” doesn’t mean we should be satisfied by it. We’ve definitely got talent on this team, but we can and should get better — that’s pretty much what Leiweke’s been preaching, and rightfully so. Are we better than we were pre-Rudy trade? Probably. But that alone doesn’t constitute success, especially when you handcuff your team for the future in making that trade.

        I’m also not sure about the assessment of our core’s “prime years.” I suppose Rudy is entering his prime right now but as has been discussed on this blog, you have a pretty good idea of what type of player a guy is after 6+ years in the league. With Kyle and Rudy, I wouldn’t be expecting off-season epiphanies or massive improvements to their games. Demar is the one I’m encouraged by, who I really think that, because of his work ethic and contract, can prove to be very valuable if he stays on the right track. I’m not married to any of these players though. Only Valanciunas.

        • What you said is fair for the most part. I am just really not in favour of blowing the team up and trading every single one of our assets minus JV just to have a chance at Wiggins. My point was, we need to establish an identity at one point or another. Realistically to build a championship team, especially one that can win multiple championships, you need to build a system. The spurs have a system. Building a good system entails building one that isn’t dependant on having a Lebron. As we saw in Lebron’s earlier career with the Cavs and even now (I am betting on the Spurs in 7 and I have said it since the beginning of the playoffs) a Lebron or a Wiggins alone doesn’t win you a ring. The best thing for us to do is to develop internally and establish good offensive and defensive coaching schemes. Couple that with strong analytics and good sports science to reduce injuries. The raptors actually have good training staff (some of the best). We use the state of the art systems like that cryogenic style freezing machine seen in open gym.

          We have good scouts in Masai (Kenneth Faried comes to mind). The Spurs haven’t tanked in very many years and yet not only have a big 3 but also have a lot of young kids who work well within their system and who will help the Spurs continue to thrive post the Duncan/Parker/Ginobli era.

          When I see the raptors now I don’t care about building a team. I care about building a winning system. Building a system takes time and I think that we are headed along the right path.

          • I see what you’re saying, definitely. I got swept up in some of the excitement of just sneaking into the play-offs this year, and I’ve been through so many tough years following this team that it pains me to accept that we might be in for another rebuild (especially when you can see some good pieces and potential on this current squad). I’m just putting all my faith in Masai because the man has been gold so far — and I think as far as building a non-superstar-centred rather than a superstar-focused one, as you brought up, Masai’s the guy (at least, based on his team-building strategy in Denver). Should be an eventful summer, one way or the other.

  5. Joey – would be cool to see an article of what you would do to this team if you were Masai for next season – what is your assessment? would you keep Casey? Who would you keep on the current roster and who would you get rid of?
    It will make for “blow-up” responses by the people on here….including the Doug Smith Dummies and there laughable, common insights and non factual “missed the point” rebuttals and arguments!

    • Hey youngjames, go fuck yourself. You seem to know quite a bit about basketball, I’ll give you that……But the sad part is that you come on here and spill your guts and act like you’re the god of basketball talk. You can post all the stats and facts you want, but that doesn’t mean your opinion is better than the next guy’s. You make some good points, but at the end of the day, you’re just another asshole with an opinion. Doug Smith does not write the greatest sports blog, I’ll be the first to admit that. What he is though is knowledgeable, intelligent and well respected. The same can’t be said for you, yet you repeatedly cut him up as if you know him personally. Just stop youngjames, you’re embarassing yourself.

  6. @youngjames: Sorry if I’m wrong about the numbers. I was pretty sure that I read that Rudy Gay will be the second highest paid player in the L next season after Kobe Bryant, but I probably should have checked that fact before posting it. I did a quick search and seems like you’re right, there’s a bunch of players that will be making more than him next season.

    I’m not hating on Rudy Gay, he’s a good player and I love his attitude. He’s been nothing but professional since coming to Toronto and he has done pretty well in his short time here. However, as much as I like the guy, the fact of the matter is that he’s going to be making $17.8M next season and averaged just 19.5PPG last season with Toronto. Do his numbers justify that kind of salary? Not for me .. and more importantly, I don’t think you can build a contender when you’re paying Rudy Gay that kind of money and he’s you’re number one scoring option.

    And no, I would never take Bosh back, even if he was on the veteran’s minimum.

  7. People don’t hate Rudy Gay – they hate Rudy Gay’s contract and the fact that the Raptors are a non-playoff team that is capped out. Obviously when you’re looking at how to improve a roster like this one, you start by looking at moving overpaid players.

  8. @Tony Starks – I was wrong too., Rudy Gay is actually 20th highest paid player according to Hoopsworld.

    For those who think Rudy’s contract is atrocious – these players are all within 2 million dollars of Rudy’s contract:
    Chris Bosh, Deron Williams, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Al Jefferson, Iguodala – Rudy is in that league of players.
    Rudy is better then these players with the same contract in the NBA : Andrew Bynum, Richard Lewis, Carlos Boozer, Baron Davis (still getting paid), Manu Ginobi.
    BUT, there are these players that are better then Rudy all within two million: Chris Paul, Kevin Durrant, Paul Pierce, Derrick Rose and Lebron/ Wade – but they signed smaller deals to make the “Big 3″ work!…aside from 4 players in this league, Gays contract is at fair market value which makes it sensible and movable (if need be).

    • youngjames – The players you have Rudy “within range of” include US Olympians, all-stars, franchise players, and all-nba first/second/third team players. Most of them have also won in the playoffs. Rudy Gay is a very talented player who is still underachieving and being paid for his potential rather than his performance.

      I like Rudy Gay. I don’t mind having him on the Raptors at all. But trying to justify his contract? Yikes. The presence of worse contracts (Rashard Lewis) or extremely good, aging players at the end of the last big contract they’ll earn (Ginobli) are not very good arguments for justifying Gay’s contract.

      The names I would list, who will be paid LESS than Rudy Gay in 2013/14 (when Rudy will be the 11th highest paid player in the league), any of whom I would rather have on the team than Gay:
      - Kevin Durant (!)
      - Derrick Rose
      - Blake Griffin
      - Marc Gasol
      - Kevin Love
      - Roy Hibbert
      - James Harden
      - Tony Parker
      - Rajon Rondo
      - Tim Duncan
      - Steph Curry

      • I forgot Russel Westbrook, who will be paid $3 million less than Gay next year…

        • On that thought, Russel Westbrook and Paul George combined next year will make as much money as Rudy Gay.

          I wish I made as much money as Rudy Gay. When it gets right down to it, we’d all love to be Gay, wouldn’t we?

  9. @Sly – I don’t act no way …just gabbin’ man. Why are you so personally upset in such a thin-skin insulted manner to feel you have to come to the defense for Doug Smith (you’re the only one)?…could you “Sly” actually be Doug Smith under a different name? You seem to always jump on me when I mention Doug Smith…OR are you just pissed cause I didn’t give you proper “props” for being the Leader of the Doug Smith Dummy Club!??! …now go suck a dick up, till ya hiccup – you behind the computer hiding, soft bitch!

    • LOL I don’t like you fuckface. I can tell just by your “gabbin’” that you’re a douche bag man. You think you’re tough sitting behind your little computer huh? Show me how tough you are….I’m waiting. Judging by the way you write and your choice of words, I can tell that you have no class and you would fight dirty (knife, knuckles, guns) Little ganster punk bitch

  10. I will finally admit it….I am an idiot!!!!!!!

    Will you please leave me alone everyone!!?!???!??!?

    ……I……..need……..professional………..help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    basketball….blah, blah……something, something…….doug smith………sexy………

  11. DD only has one thing that holds him back from quickly blossiming into a star: his basketball IQ. He’s slightly improve his overall game each year, he works his ass off, he’s likeable, he has the frame and the athleticism, he can shoot….. BC signed this guy for all the right reasons. Whether he stays with the raps or not, he’s a valuable asset. Now enough about trying to justify his contract…..plenty of teams would gladly take Demar at that price.

  12. every day i check this blog hoping to see barny gone . im counting the days . didnt he say he was gonna aim for the 1st for the latest ?

  13. the last youngjames message – was a HACK job by someone else, I didn’t leave that message….I’m looking into this! BUT Sly lets meet this Saturday at a bar in T.O your choice!

  14. Oh and Sly – here’s a hint for you, my family are members of Club 81….figure that out before you come, you’ll want too, trust me!

    • I don’t care what Club 81 is…..if it’s a gang, then power to you. It’s clear that you can’t fight your own battles so that makes sense. I def have better things to do than drive to TO to meet up with some low life who’s gonna jump me. This is fun though…. LOL

    • is club 81 like kobes club or something?

  15. @SR – you make some great points and I don’t disagree (all that much)….Two things: this coming year Gay hasn’t played so what he makes coming up in 2013/14 is TBD from his up coming play whether he is worth the 11th spot of salary paid….I’m personally guessing he won’t!
    Two, all those player contracts you mention were signed before Gays (contract negotiations in the NBA rise from player to player every CBA deal)…some of those contracts were signed after the new CBA deal on a different rookie scale, therefore that is why Durant and Rose and Westbrook are getting paid less – not so black and white as you make it out to be – It’s hard to compare TIM D’s contract too, as he signed it 3 or 4 years prior to Gay’s, once again different CBA rules allows for different contracts.
    However, all that said it is what it is and regardless Gay is making more them and that haas to fit into today’s salary cap…he was worth his contract in comparison to his CBA rookie scale signing – is he worth that today? maybe not, but it is in the ball park and better then some top 25 contracts today in the NBA….next year, who knows, maybe not, maybe so – that’s up to Masai to decide.

    - Kevin Durant (new CBA deal)
    - Derrick Rose (new CBA deal, huge injury to over come)
    - Blake Griffin (always injured – give Gay the likes of a Chris Paul to play with and he would be just as good IMO)
    - Marc Gasol (same level player as Rudy)
    - Kevin Love (I love this guy – always hurt, can’t play an 82 game full season)
    - Roy Hibbert (just came into his own in his 3rd to 4th season – if you speak with Indiana fans, Hibbert “takes plays off” too. Remember two years ago when Rudy was a dominating play-off player that year for the Grizzlies carry that team on his back with the Randolph and Gasol injuries!?)
    - James Harden (New CBA deal)
    - Tony Parker (see Tim D)
    - Rajon Rondo (same level of player as Gay IMO)
    - Tim Duncan (see above comments)
    - Steph Curry (New CBA deal – always injured)

  16. @True Toronto fan – I like that comparison! – but no…Google it!

    Not that anyone cares – BUT, from here on in “youngjames” will never be used again by me – I will be leaving my messages under a new handle. I want my insights to be talked about for good conversation about the team I watch in the NBA. Lots of people have some good shit to say on here, and some losers (hello Sly you soft little girl) tend to ruin it…..punks telling people off when they hear something they don’t like, its crap. If you see “youngjames” know now it won’t be me.

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