SLAM Top 50: DeMar DeRozan, No. 24

What a time to be alive. Isn’t that right, DeMar?

I’ve got good news for you, Double D. You moved up 22 spots on this year’s SLAM Top 50, and it’s crystal clear why. Let’s recap the last few months…

After leading the Toronto Raptors to a franchise-best 56 wins and second seed in the East during the 2015-16 season, DeMar DeRozan found himself in the postseason once again. The previous two years resulted in some early ousts, but 2016 was different.

So different in fact that the team that never once experienced a best-of-seven series win, won two. The first was against the Indiana Pacers in the opening round, and the second was versus the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

And just like that, the Raptors were one series away from the NBA Finals. But a big hurdle was in the way—a hurdle in the form of a hungry and scary good LeBron James. Although DeRozan’s got hops, he couldn’t get over LeBron and the Cavs, as the future 2016 NBA Champions eliminated the Raptors in six games.

But such a deep Playoffs run cannot be undermined by any means. It was the highest point of the many high points DeMar DeRozan experienced this past NBA season. He found himself back in the All-Star Game that took place in his own Toronto after missing the mark in 2015. He finished first in the League in points off drives to the basket (8.7 per game) and ninth in scoring (23.5 per game). He was on the cover of SLAM 198 with fellow Raptor and buddy, Kyle Lowry and of course, Drake.

Fast forward to the summer, and DeMar continued his list of IRL achievements that the rest of us can only list on Twitter with the hashtag #goals. He signed a whopping five-year, $139 million-plus extension with the Raptors, almost completed a 360-degree in-game poster dunk, won a gold medal with Team USA at the Rio Olympics, and became a father again to another baby girl.

With that superb Playoffs run and extra fire summer, we have DeMar DeRozan at the No. 24 spot heading into the new—it’s almost here!—NBA season. He’s racked up a lot of experience on how to win and built quite the résumé. Only a fool would make the mistake of sleeping on the 6ix again, after the steady signs of improvement shone through so brightly these last few months.

So DeMar, you listening?

More drives, more dunks, more dope sing-alongs please. And more De-de-de-de-de-DeRozan doing what he does best. We know you’re as motivated as ever and can’t wait to see what ya’ll are gonna do next up there in T-Dot.

Your daughter said it best during that post-game presser:

So do we, Diar, so do we.


2015: 46
2014: 30
2013: NR
2012: NR
2011: NR
2010: NR
2009: NR

SLAM Top 50 Players 2016
Rank Player Team Position Pos. Rank
50 Ben Simmons 76ers SF 9
49 D’Angelo Russell Lakers PG 12
48 Derrick Favors Jazz PF 12
47 Devin Booker Suns SG 8
46 Chris Bosh Heat PF 11
45 Bradley Beal Wizards SG 7
44 Eric Bledsoe Suns PG 11
43 Serge Ibaka Magic PF 10
42 CJ McCollum Blazers SG 6
41 Pau Gasol Spurs PF 9
40 Rudy Gobert Jazz C 9
39 Kevin Love Cavs PF 8
38 Dirk Nowitzki Mavs PF 7
37 Kristaps Porzingis Knicks PF 6
36 Kemba Walker Hornets PG 10
35 Dwight Howard Hawks C 8
34 Hassan Whiteside Heat C 7
33 Gordon Hayward Jazz SF 8
32 Mike Conley Grizzlies PG 9
31 Andrew Wiggins T-Wolves SF 7
30 Dwyane Wade Bulls SG 5
29 Paul Millsap Hawks PF 5
28 Marc Gasol Grizzlies C 6
27 Al Horford Celtics C 5
26 Giannis Antetokounmpo Bucks SF 6
25 Isaiah Thomas Celtics PG 8
24 DeMar DeRozan Raptors SG 4

Rankings are based on expected contribution in 2016-17—to players’ team, the NBA and the game.

Follow the entire #SLAMTop50 countdown.