3. DeMar DeRozan, Toronto
If it weren’t for Drake, Toronto would’ve anointed DeRozan the “Six God.” The Raptors are fresh off the best season in franchise history, and DeRozan was instrumental in their extraordinary success. His career-high in scoring (23.5) is a result of him becoming the NBA’s best slasher, and the 6’7 All-Star has made a living in two-point territory.
Last season, 89.9 percent of DeRozan’s shots came inside the three-point line, something rarely seen by a guard in this day-and-age; he’s shooting two-tenths of a point under 46, making him rather efficient. With jarring athleticism that’s highlighted by his wicked bounce, DeRozan puts defenders in pickles (and on posters) on a nightly basis, and teams have no choice but to foul him. His improved ball handling makes him even harder to handle, and his 653 free throw attempts were third in the league; on average, DeRozan’s getting seven points per night from the foul line.
To see DeMar truly go next level and evolve into a top-five scorer, an outside jump shot would need to develop. Will it happen? Possibly, but I don’t believe it’ll be a focus of his until his athleticism starts to deteriorate–and he’s just 26.
Next: Klay Thompson