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Armstrong: DeRozan a solid choice for the Raptors

Jack Armstrong
6/25/2009 10:06:35 PM
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I like the Toronto Raptors pick at number 9 for DeMar DeRozan from USC.

The Raptors had significant issues this past season with consistency and at times productivity at their wing spots. DeRozan is a step in the right direction for the organization.

I like his athleticism, quickness, explosiveness and his potential to be a very good player. He can guard very well and once he gets stronger he'll be a steady NBA defender. He can score and get to the rim with a good first step. Stamina and maturity will come with time.

The Raptors want to be an up-tempo team and his game fits that style. He needs to improve his three-point shooting but his mechanics are okay, so that will come. His ball skills and feel for the game are solid.

He's a bit raw and I expect him to have his share of challenges early on but he's got the tools to take his game upward as he moves on. I think he can be a guy that plays decent minutes as a rookie and be in the playing rotation early on.

In a weak draft, when you're at the 9th spot, you have to be able to evaluate and draft based upon the long haul and what you think he can bring your organization in three years. I think in three years he'll be a good one. It's an inexact science yet based upon the Raptors needs he's a good fit. 

I also like the Reggie Evans trade for Jason Kapono and this draft is another step in a positive direction for Bryan Colangelo.

The trade scenarios and free agent period will be an intriguing time for the Raptors to fill more needs with their wing position and change the makeup of their team's personality, but another good step was taken tonight.

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