New San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan was ranked in the top third of the league’s players included in Sports Illustrated’s top 100 list.
San Antonio Spurs fans will have a new superstar to root for this season as the Raptors sent their four-time All-Star to south Texas in exchange for Kawhi Leonard.
DeRozan was named third team All-NBA in 2016-17 and jumped to the second team with an impressive 2017-18 campaign. Those honors suggest that DeRozan is at least among the league’s top 15 players.
However, Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney of Sports Illustrated are seemingly lower on DeRozan than the sports media consensus as he ranked number 30 on their recent top 100 list.
Even though DeRozan hasn’t mastered the three-point shot, he is undeniably effective on the offensive end. He had a solid true shooting percentage of 55.5% and a player efficiency rating of 21.0 last season while scoring 23 points per game and dishing a career-high 5.2 assists per night.
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DeRozan also finished third among the league’s shooting guards in offensive real plus-minus which measures a player’s overall impact on their team’s offense when they are on the floor and adjusts for opponent.
An offseason working with Spurs shooting coach Chip Engelland could work wonders for DeRozan as the three-point shot is the only thing missing from his game after he improved his offensive distribution last year.
The defensive end of the floor has always been a struggle for the 29-year-old guard as he ranked 84rd of 106 shooting guards in defensive real plus-minus last season.
However, we’ve seen many players who were thought to be awful defenders excel in Gregg Popovich’s defensive scheme, and it isn’t difficult to envision that happening for DeRozan next season.
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The San Antonio Spurs are uniquely equipped to build their team around DeRozan’s strengths and improve on his two weaknesses, which are three-point shooting and his overall defense.
If DeRozan follows the path that many Spurs players have upon arriving in San Antonio, he could be much higher on this list next offseason.
Check out what we think of the other Spurs ranked on this top 100 list: