DeMarre Carroll: The Value in Veteran Leadership

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 05: DeMarre Carroll
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 05: DeMarre Carroll /

DeMarre Carroll enters his 9th season in the NBA for his seventh different team in that span. The journeyman found most of his success in Atlanta while spending invaluable time with Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. The two have expressed their excitement in having a chance to reunite, but what else does the veteran bring to a young Nets team?

In an offseason that saw more trades than free-agent signings in Brooklyn, the Nets were able to jumpstart their rebuild by acquiring young talent, as well as established veterans. However, as we know, those veterans did not come at a cheap price.

The Nets will pay Timofey Mozgov $48 million over the next three seasons, and did not receive any draft pick compensation from the Lakers in return. Brooklyn will also pay DeMarre Carroll $30.2 million over the next two seasons, but received two draft picks (2018 TOR 1st, 2018 TOR 2nd) for taking on the contract.

While Mozgov has spent his time destroying human lives in the FIBA EuroBasket League (not literally), Carroll has been working out in Brooklyn with his teammates.

Well… maybe Mozgov was destroying human lives after all.

Anyways, DeMarre Carroll has been working tirelessly to get back to his old ways. After spending two seasons with the Toronto Raptors, Carroll saw his value on and off the court diminish. Injuries and Toronto’s “iso” offense stymied Carroll’s development after his promising days in Atlanta.

At 31-years-old, Carroll has seen his production and role decline in recent seasons, but Kenny Atkinson and the Nets believe they can help rejuvenate his career. While not playing in an isolation system will certainly help jumpstart the veteran, both Atkinson and Carroll know what to expect out of each other. That can go a long way.

"“I’m happy. I’m coming to what I call family, Carroll said. “Kenny, I’ve known since Atlanta and he’s the one that helped me take my game to the next level. I’m just happy to get back under his wing.”"

There’s that “f word” again… family. Or in this case, familiarity.

The sense of familiarity will help in more ways than not. Atkinson can utilize Carroll’s skill set in ways Toronto decided against. Carroll spent 73% of his time on the floor last season playing the three, and 27% playing the four. Expect Atkinson to use him as an under-sized four for floor-spacing purposes. Also, expect Carroll to see a decrease in minutes, as the Nets enjoy swapping players in and out to keep players fresh for the duration of the game, and season.

The Nets don’t need DeMarre Carroll to be a dominant force while on the court. However, they desperately need his toughness, determination and veteran presence. If Carroll can help teach the younger players how to play at this level on a consistent basis, the Nets will be thrilled. Luckily for them, Carroll is a veteran, and he’s been around this league long enough to know what a front office wants out of a player.

“I’m trying to bring leadership and help these guys grow. At the end of the day it’s all about helping these guys grow for the future. You just gotta teach them, sometimes mostly vocal. I’ve been through a lot and I’ve been through it, so I’m just trying to help these guys live out their dreams,” said Carroll.

DeMarre Carroll is an ideal veteran for this particular group. His game-experience will be an invaluable teaching tool for players to use to their advantage, and his positive mindset should mesh well with others on the roster.

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See! He enjoys late night workouts at the HSS Training Center just like his teammates D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert!

If the Nets can find ways to utilize Carroll’s skill set with efficiency, don’t be surprised if you see him wearing a Nets jersey for many years after his contract expires.