NBA Draft Media Day Video Interviews June 25, 2009
[Read Full Article] NBA Draft Media Day Interview Transcripts (Part One) June 25, 2009 DraftExpress: How nervous are you?
Demar DeRozan: Iím just anxious, thereís so much going on already with the draft because of the trades. Iím starting to get a little nervous because you never know what is going to happen next.
DX: How much do you think the trades have changed your draft situation?
DD: I think it changed a little bit of everything; every more is going to affect every player. You really wonít know what is going to happen until draft night.
DX: The fact that you didnít work out for Minnesota, could that come back to haunt you now that they have two picks?
DD: No, Iím not really worried about it. If it comes down to that they know talent and itís up to the GMs to decide who they want.
DX: What are you hearing from Toronto in terms of what they might be doing?
DD: I havenít really discussed it specifically with them. I know Toronto really likes me and I really like Toronto, so like I said, when draft night comes Iím going to really pay attention to what happens.
DX: If you get past Toronto, what do you think youíre next stopgap is?
DD: I really donít know, thereís no telling where it could be. Every time David Stern walks up there you never know who he is going to call, so weíre just going to have to wait and see.
DX: Some people are saying that Terrence Williams has a promise at twelve, which means you could go at eleven to New Jersey, since he turned down his workout. Have you worked out for them or thought about them at all?
DD: No I didnít work out for New Jersey; I didnít really put any thought into it. I worked out for the teams that I felt were most interested in me and thatís what Iím going to go with.
DX: In hindsight, not doing competitive workouts, is that going to be a mistake if you wind up slipping a little bit?
DD: Not at all; I think doing individual workouts gives the GMs a chance to see everything that you worked on, especially in regards to what they think your weaknesses are. It also gives them a chance to see what you improved on.
DX: Do you think they feel the same way about you not doing competitive workouts?
DD: I think itís great that they get to see me go through repetitions in all of the drills they have set up for me and how well I do with all of them.
DX: Have you talked to Tim Floyd at all lately?
DD: No, not lately. I talked to him a couple of weeks ago before the whole situation turned out like it did. I havenít talked to him since, but Iíll probably talk to him soon.
DX: How important is it for you to get drafted high?
DD: Itís important to me to get drafted period. Iím not really worrying about where Iím going, whatever situation I get put in, thatís the one Iím going to go with from there.
Reporter: Highlight of this process for you
DD: just traveling, working out for a lot of teams yk that was one of the major highlights for me really enjoying that having fun wqith that and just sitting back and see what the process do
Reporter: Are you tired of the traveling?
DD: No, thatís I think that something that got get used to. Whatís coming ahead in the NBA and everything its really preparing me.
Reporter: You did a solo workout for New York, how did that go for you?
DD: It went real well. It went real good. I got a good feed from it and everything but like I said itís just time to sit back and watch to see what happens.
Reporter: Do you fit that (Knicks) system?
DD: Oh yeah I think every player love playing under DíAntoni. His type of offense he just lets you run and lets you play your game. I think every player love play under him because they feel comfortableÖ
Reporter: Did you do a lot of shooting at the workout?
DD: Yeah, definitely. A lot of shooting. It was fun. That was one of my funnest workouts.
Reporter: You played really well in the Pac-10 tournament. Did that help you make your decision to enter the draft?
DD: Yeah, definitely. I got the chance to really come out and really play like I knew I could play. I think I proved that to everybody. I had an up and down season and I was struggling with the new offense. Then I got to go out and play my game and I think people got a chance to see that.
Reporter: Who in this draft do you think has the chance to be really good?
DD: Besides myself?
Reporter: Yes, besides yourself.
DD: Iíd have to say the one player I know will be a good pro is Brandon Jennings. Iíve played with him since I was 11 or 12 and I know just how good of a point guard he is against anybody he plays against.
Reporter: How good would he (Jennings) have been in college this year?
DD: Man, I think he would have been a better point guard in college this year. Everybody would see how well he creates, how good of a scorer he is and he is one of the players who can bring excitement to the floor.
Reporter: So you think he made a mistake by going to Europe?
DD: No. He chose what was best for him. I know he was going to get the best out of whatever he did and thatís what he did.
Reporter: Whatís it feel like to be compared to Vince Carter?
DD: It feels great. I remember when Vince Carter came in to the league how he affected the NBA. He brought the excitement back. Everyone wanted to see Vince Carter. Everyone fell in love with Vince Carter and thatís something that a lot of people look at me as and I feel honored. It feels great to be compared to a player like Vince Carter.
Reporter: Would you consider participating in the dunk contest?
DD: Yeah, I would consider it. I donít feel like I would have a choice with the fans always wanting me to go out there and do something like that. So, I would definitely consider it.
Reporter: You didnít participate in any competitive workouts. Do you think your stock went up or down after your college season?
DD: I think it went up. In every workout I really proved to each team how well I shoot from the outside, how well I can ball-handle, a lot of stuff that they said were my weaknesses I really showed them otherwise.
Reporter: Where do you think youíre going in the draft?
[Read Full Article] Situational Statistics: This Year's Small Forward Crop April 24, 2009
ē Whichever team drafts Demar DeRozan will be picking him in the hopes that heíll growing into their system, and not because heís already a great fit.
Unlike every other player in our analysis, DeRozan doesnít make a living in any one situation, though he is one of the most efficient players on our list. In our last piece we discussed the new %Score stat which indicates how frequently a player scored a point based on their logged possessions. DeRozan ranks first amongst the nineteen players on our list at 54.4%. However, he ranks only 16th in overall PPP. This disparity stems from the fact that he shoots nearly three less three-pointers per game than the average player on our list (4.3 vs. 1.3) and ranks last in terms of three-point percentage at just 16.7%. He doesnít get to the free throw line at a great rate to compensate and only converts on a mediocre 65% of his attempts once there. He makes up for that by shooting 49% from the field on his isolation opportunities (4th), knocking down his catch and shoot jumpers at a 43% clip (6th), and hitting 41% of his pull ups as well (4th). Clearly DeRozan has a solid knack for operating in the mid-range area, which should serve him well in the more spacing-friendly NBA. Heís also a good offensive rebounderóa testament to his excellent physical tools.
Outside of those areas, DeRozan proves a very average player across the board. His defensive rebounding totals sit just below the mean as does his assists numbers, PPP working off of cuts (1.22) and as a finisher around the rim in general (1.14). He sits a bit further below the average in a number of other situations including spot up (1.02 vs. 0.93) and transition opportunities (1.19 vs 1.03). Considering that he didnít do almost any posting up (0.3 Pos/G) or shooting coming off of screens (0.7 Pos/G), the weight teams put on how significantly they believe he can improve his range and ability to improve his efficiency in a defined system will likely determine where he lands on draft day. A freak athlete, DeRozan has some natural offensive talent, but heís essentially a blank canvas in terms of what kind of player he can be in the long run. Whoever picks him will obviously need to be patient, although he may more upside that arguably any wing player in this draft. [Read Full Article] Taking Stock of the Top NBA Draft Prospects March 18, 2009 After struggling for a good part of the season early on, DeMar DeRozan looks to be finishing the year very strong, stringing together a very impressive Pac-10 tournament, winning most outstanding player award honors and helping his team qualify for the NCAA tournament in the process. DeRozan compiled 63 points and 27 rebounds in three games in Los Angeles, looking far more confident and aggressive than weíd seen him at any point this season thus far. He hit a 3-pointer in every game, doubling the amount of 3-pointers heís made, and breaking his previous record for free throw attempts in a single game (seven) against UCLA. Heís slowly learning how to put his excellent athleticism to better use at this level, as evidencde by the two double-doubles he put up in this tournament, his third and fourth of the season. He had a couple of big time highlight reel dunks in the UCLA game in particular, which is something we hadnít seen a great deal of this year.
DeRozanís mid-range pull-up jumper was his main weapon this past weekendóhe gets great elevation that allows him to create separation from his defender and has very nice touch and shooting mechanics, which leaves a lot of room for optimism regarding the future. His ball-handling skills continue to look shaky, though, and you rarely see him able to get to the basket in half-court situations, showing that he still has a long ways to go in terms of developing into a player who is ready to see minutes in the NBA.
DeRozan isnít the first freshman who didnít light the NCAA on fire from day one and needed some time to figure things out. Itís pretty clear what his limitations are after all. Whether or not his recent performance is enough to make NBA teams completely reevaluate his draft status remains to be seen, as he still looks like a long-term project. It will be interesting to see if he can continue his good play in the NCAA tournament, as USC has a very winnable game against Boston College before likely matching up with Michigan State if they advance. [Read Full Article] College Road Report: Arizona State vs. UCLA & USC February 17, 2009 DeMar DeRozan has been getting better and better over the past few weeks, and definitely came up with a strong performance in this particular game we took in against Arizona State, with 16 points and 10 rebounds (6 of them offensive).
USC is doing a good job of playing to DeRozanís strengths lately, and trying to minimize his weaknesses. They like to bring him off cuts and curls, putting him in a situation where he can dribble the ball once or twice and then elevate for a soft finish. His production is up from the last time we profiled him, and heís making a good amount of his two-point shots (56%), while getting to the line at a decent rate. He looks smarter and more aggressive these days for sure, doing a much better job of utilizing his athleticism, which is obviously his biggest strengths. This showed up primarily in his work on the offensive glass, an area that heís been quite effective in thanks to his size, length and leaping ability.
Defensively, he looked pretty intense, doing a good job trying to shadow his man, even if his fundamentals obviously arenít great and he tends to show poor awareness from time to time. He still has a ways to go in terms of learning how to take advantage of his physical attributes on this end of the floor.
DeRozan knocked down a number of mid-range jumpers in this game, something that heís been doing fairly often from the film we took in after the game. His stroke looks very nice, with range out to about 18 feet, particularly when he has a moment to set his feet and get his shot off.
Still a very limited ball-handler, DeRozanís offensive limitations are pretty significant if trying to project him immediately to the NBA. He struggles to change directions with the ball and possesses very little explosion off his first step, making him almost completely unable to create his own shot. If forced to dribble the ball more than once or twice he is liable to get stripped or look out of control, although heís doing a good job of not putting himself in situations where he is liable to turn the ball over. He is averaging twice as many turnovers as assists, which ranks him last amongst all top shooting guard prospects
The fact that DeRozanís jumper doesnít have much range (heís shooting just 2/22 from 3-point range), he cannot play pick and roll, is not a great passer, possesses just an average basketball IQ, and his understanding of how to operate in the half-court is limited, makes him a clear-cut project for the NBA. The main question is, how much he is going to improve over the next few years? The answer to that largely depends on his work ethic and character, which draws strong reviews from those around him. Some teams are not that opposed to taking a player who obviously possesses great upside, especially once you get outside of the lottery. One GM we spoke to compared him to Gerald Wallace as a freshman, saying how he was even more limited a player at the same point in his career.
DeRozan obviously looks like he needs another year in college to develop his all-around game in a nurturing setting, but weíll have to wait and see what kind of rush heís in and whether heís content just making the NBA (heís likely a first round pick), as opposed to rolling in on the red carpet. [Read Full Article] Evaluating the NCAA Freshman Class December 24, 2008 The expectations were sky-high for DeMar DeRozan entering his freshman season. Not only was he expected to fill the massive shoes of O.J. Mayo for USC, but he was also looked at by NBA scouts as possibly the top prospect in his class.
The start was fairly inconspicuous, after failing to hit double figures in three of his first five games. Lately things have been a bit better, with 18 and 17-point outings in his past two games, but it still feels a little premature to evaluate, despite the fact that we're about a third of the way through the NCAA season.
DeRozan's tools and overall talent are pretty obvious. He's an excellent athlete with good instincts on both ends of the floor, and shows great sparks of potential from time to time with some of the moves he's able to execute. USC runs a variety of plays to take advantage of his athleticism, throwing lobs for him on out of bounds plays, trying to get him a clear path to the rim with backdoor cuts, and always looking for him in transitionówhere he truly excels. He's been able to come up with some highlight reel finishes from time to time, but there's no doubting just how raw he is currently in the half-court.
As a ball-handler is where DeRozan needs to improve the most, as he really struggles to take advantage of his superior athleticism, having all kinds of problems creating his own shot. He can't really change directions with the ball or beat his man with an advanced move, and is thus entirely reliant on others to create offense for him, which is a bit of a problem for a team without a true point guard. That's one of the reasons he's getting to the free throw line just over three times a game, which is somewhat underwhelming considering the physical advantages he enjoys over his opponents. Turnovers have been somewhat of a problemóhe coughs up the ball on 22% of his possessions, and averages twice as many turnovers as assists.
Perimeter shooting is another major weakness at the momentóhe's currently 0/12 from beyond the arc, and is shooting just 58% from the free throw line. His mechanics look decent, and he can create separation nicely on his pull-up jumper for example, but he just hasn't been able to be a threat from the perimeter just yetósomething that could come later in the season.
On the positive side, DeRozan has looked fairly unselfish, not really forcing the issue that much and moving the ball around pretty well, which is a good sign. He puts a solid effort in on the defensive end too, although he lacks significant experience here, which makes him very inconsistent.
All in all, DeRozan is probably fortunate to have not been thrown straight into the NBA fire right out of high schoolóhe is in no shape or form ready to compete at that level, as his average production in the NCAA will attest. He might even want to start thinking about spending a second year in college, in order to significantly improve his skill-level and feel for the game. As mentioned, it's probably a little early to draw any final conclusions just yet. [Read Full Article] Jordan Brand Classic Games (Day Three) April 20, 2008 On the wing, Demar DeRozan (17 points, 4 rebounds, 7-10 FG, 20 minutes) looked better than he did earlier in the week, similar to what he did at the Nike Hoop Summit last week. He got out in transition and used his athleticism to get easy baskets and punish the White team for their poor shot-selection, and also knocked down a very smooth looking 3-pointer on the catch and shoot. He still looks a bit limited in the half-courtóit's not clear if he's unable or just unwilling to take on too many responsibilities creating his own shot from the wing, but this wasn't much of an issue in this setting. It will be very interesting to see how he looks next season under Tim Floyd at USC, particularly on the defensive end. The numerous NBA scouts we spoke with here (before, during and after the game) were all completely enamored by his talent. [Read Full Article] Nike Hoop Summit Recap: Team USA April 16, 2008 Probably the player that stood out the most on the US Team, Derozan showed freakish athletic ability that translated to all elements of his game. His most jaw-dropping display of athleticism came on a breakaway dunk where he elevated over an international player and threw the ball down with authority, but he also made some impressive blocks and jumps into the passing lanes that many players just arenít capable of. Headed to USC next season, he has great size for an NBA shooting guard, and a strong body considering his age. Along with his elite leaping ability, Derozan shows a quick first step to the basket and has very smooth body control.
Derozanís skills appeared to be more polished throughout the week in the practice setting, but he wasnít quite able to fully translate them to the game setting. For instance, he showed great elevation and a nice shooting stroke pulling up off the dribble from 20 feet in the practices. This move looked like it would translate to the NBA game today, but he failed to attempt it even once against the international squad. In the half-court, Derozan can get to the hoop against anyone, but rarely hangs against contact to finish like heís capable of. Before he reaches the NBA, he also must focus on improving the way he attacks the rim, because his freakish athletic ability will give him a chance to finish plays that most people arenít capable of. The form on the future Trojanís jumper looks solid as well, but his only make from long range in the game was banked in off the glass. Defensively, he plays back on his heels too often, and will need to focus on improving his stance.
Considering his size and athletic ability, Derozan has the potential to make a big impact next season at USC. He has the potential to emerge as a major NBA draft prospect after one college season, but he needs to step out on the court and live up to the hype in the Pac-10 first. [Read Full Article] LeBron James Skills Academy Day Three July 10, 2007 DeRozan continued to show everyone in attendance why he is the top shooting guard in the nation, as he honestly looked like an NBA wing out there with high school kids on Sunday. As far as scoring is concerned, there isnít much that he didnít show out there. The USC recruit shot the ball from three-point range (both off of the dribble and from a standstill), got to the rim at will, and was downright money from midrange. Demar still doesnít do a ton on the defensive end, but once he hitís the collegiate level, the USC coaching staff will definitely help him with any of his problems on that end of the floor. [Read Full Article] LeBron James Skills Academy Day Two July 7, 2007 DeRozan is looking to distinguish himself as the top shooting guard here at camp, and his performance in the first game Saturday did nothing to disprove that notion. While he is certainly a volume shooter, the future Trojan hit just about everything he put up, from all angles of the floor. He is just so creative when he has the ball in his hands, weaving in and out of traffic throughout the lane and finishing with either hand near the rim. Demar shot the ball well from beyond the arc nearly out to the NBA three point range. On the downside, he did not seem to give his team much on the defensive end and was surely more concerned with when or how he was going to get his next shot up as opposed to putting the clamps on his man. Either way, it was still an outstanding performance by one of the truly special scorers in the class of 2008. [Read Full Article]