NBA scout explains why you should expect a big year from DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan isn't thinking about free agency, but his contract status could still motivate him in 2015-16.
John E. Sokolowski/John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Spo

The 2015-16 NBA regular season is less than a week away, and scouting departments around the league are hard at work putting together game plans for their opponents. Fortunately for basketball fans, Sports Illustrated talked to a collection of NBA scouts who shared some of their intelligence. And for the Toronto Raptors, things are looking pretty, pretty good.

Toronto is “head and shoulders” above the rest of the (putrid) Atlantic division on paper, according to scouts, and signing DeMarre Carroll will be a big help. But it's a player who's been with the Raptors his whole career, DeMar DeRozan, who could use his contract year to springboard to the All-Star game:

DeRozan has previously emphasized that he has no desire to talk about his upcoming contract status and that his loyalty to the Raptors has been clear throughout his career. Still, the human condition is what it is, and financial gain is a pretty big motivator. Whether DeRozan is considering moving on after this season or not, he has to know that a solid season could mean a big payday.

By signing DeMarre Carroll [four years, $60 million] they’re looking to get more athletic. They basically have been a half-court team, grinding it out, playing inside-out. Now they want to play that small four, run it up and down, space the floor, use fewer sets and attack the rim… DeMar DeRozan is an All-Star, no doubt about it, but he didn’t play like one last year with the [groin] injury. It’s his contract year and he’s in the big-money range, so I assume he’ll come back in great shape.

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