Who would win a Raptors-only track-and-field day? How good is Amir Johnson’s Celine Dion impression? When was the last time Dwane Casey cried at the movies? Every day until the season starts, we throw a Raptor in front of a green screen and ask him the tough questions. Today, DeMar DeRozan says he’d choose Tim McGraw for his hypothetical at-bat music.
Know Your Raptors: Lou Williams | Kyle Lowry | Bruno Caboclo | Chuck Hayes | Jonas Valanciunas | Amir Johnson | Tyler Hansbrough | Landry Fields | Terrence Ross | James Johnson | Patrick Patterson | Lucas Nogueira | DeMar DeRozan | Greivis Vasquez | Dwane Casey
Incremental improvement. That’s been the story of DeMar DeRozan’s career since the Raptors drafted him ninth overall in 2009.
He came to the franchise as a project player—immediately one of the NBA’s best athletes but as raw as most other one-and-done players in their first pro season. But every year he’s added more to his game and was rewarded with more and more responsibility.
Last year he took the biggest leap of all, reaching all-star status while establishing himself as one of the league’s best shooting guards, one with a unique ability to get to the hoop seemingly at will. And after a summer spent winning gold at the FIBA Basketball World Cup with Team USA, there are no signs of slowing down.
This season, DeRozan will be asked again to log heavy minutes, to be this team’s go-to-scorer, and to continue to help the Raptors establish their claim as a rising threat in the Eastern Conference. And the fifth-year guard will be happy to oblige.
2013–14 Stats: 22.7 Pts/G, 4.3 Reb/G, 4.0 Ast/G, 1.1 Stl/G, 42.9 FG%, 38.2 Min/G