SLAMonline Mock Draft: Demar DeRozan, No.6
by Myles Brown
With the sixth pick in the 2009 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select…
Demar DeRozan. Last June the Timberwolves drafted a dynamic guard out of USC who was primed to fill their need for a point guard and a slasher. They traded him three hours later.
Though there is still debate about whether Minnesota got the better player in the Mayo/Love swap, the deal enabled them to unload troublesome contracts, gain maneuverability under the salary cap and add another valuable component to a promising roster. Time has shown it to be a prudent move.
However for those who think it wasn’t, the Wolves can offer a mea culpa this June by drafting a dynamic guard out of USC who is primed to fill their need for a slasher.
The teams focus should be on acquiring a point guard or center, but as far as this Mock Draft is concerned, DeRozan is the best available talent that complements their core players. Al Jefferson is clearly the centerpiece and Kevin Love has proven himself to be a commodity. Though they’re both relatively undersized at power forward and completely unsuitable to play at center, the offensive and rebounding they provide leaves need for little more than a seven footer to provide even the slightest deterrence in the paint. Such a player should be available on the free agent market.
Mike Miller and Ryan Gomes shared minutes at small forward last season and while both players will presumably remain in the rotation next year, their deficiencies leave something to be desired. Despite his reputation as a marksman and the thought of him making defenses pay for doubling Jefferson, Miller all but refused to shoot the ball, leaving the responsibility to far less capable players. Gomes, for all of his intelligence and intensity, simply isn’t enough of an offensive threat to carry a consistent load or force any strategic changes from a defense.
Now entering his fourth year as a pro, Randy Foye is still telling anyone who’ll listen that he’s a point guard. He’s not. But for significant stretches over his career he has shown himself to be an effective shooting guard. He’s confident from the outside, can finish at the rim and when he isn’t burdened with the task of running the offense, he can be an effective playmaker. But he’s too small. Bigger and stronger guards can handle him too easily in the post or just choose to rise above him from the perimeter.
DeRozan doesn’t solve all of these problems for Minnesota, but he does give them more options. He’s a 6’6, 200 lb swingman who appears to be comfortable at either the 2 or the 3, which would provide flexibility and versatility in lineups. He’s quick, he’s strong and he’ll dunk on you faster than you can blink. With an expanding jumper and a visible maturity in his decision making, DeMar could be the slasher that opens up the floor and scores in bunches for a team ripe with boardsmen, post players and shooters. He could thrive in an uptempo system and flourish in the half court with several other offensive threats to draw attention. It’s not difficult to see him finishing a break initiated by one of Love’s outlet passes or finishing a crisp ball reversal initiated by a double of Al or a premature closeout on Miller. DeMar DeRozan could be one of the finishing touches on a roster that is close to playoff contention.
But they should probably find a coach first.
|2009 SLAMonline Mock Draft Results|
|1||L.A. Clippers||Blake Griffin|
|2||Memphis Grizzlies||Hasheem Thabeet|
|3||Oklahoma City Thunder||Ricky Rubio|
|4||Sacramento Kings||Brandon Jennings|
|5||Washington Wizards||Jordan Hill|
|6||Minnesota Timberwolves||Demar DeRozan|