Brooklyn Nets player preview: DeMarre Carroll

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

Every successful team and dynasty goes 10-men deep in its rotation. Teams need fresh legs on the court at all times, especially in today’s NBA. One player will have the biggest impact off the bench for the Brooklyn Nets this upcoming season: DeMarre Carroll.

Washed up. Hasn’t been a good player since he was a Hawk. He is a poor man’s Jae Crowder. All these insults commonly circulate the Twittersphere.

The last time that Carroll was an efficient NBA starter was during the 2014-15 season. He had a career-high 15.9 player efficiency rating that year and a career high .603 true shooting percentage. Not quite All-Star caliber, but certainly the stats of a starter on a playoff team.

The trade to Toronto didn’t boast well for the Mizzou alumni. He didn’t play as well as many thought – or as Toronto hoped he would. The past two seasons, Carroll saw a drop in production and efficiency across the board. The team expected him to do too much. Topping that off with a nagging knee injury, Carroll seemed set for a new opportunity elsewhere. While 2016-17 wasn’t Carroll’s comeback season, he had some success in a reduced role.


Per Basketball Reference

The glimmer wasn’t just wishful thinking. As Carroll bounced back from his injury plagued 2015 campaign, all his stats showed significant improvements.

ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 29: DeMarre Carroll
ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 29: DeMarre Carroll /

The increase in true-shooting percentage, free throws attempted, and value over replacement all tie back to the pressing theme of this piece. In a reduced role, Carroll returned to being an extremely pesky and efficient defender as well as a dangerous three-point shooter. His usage percentage going down and his defensive efficiency and shooting production going up isn’t a mere coincidence.

While Carroll might not have the legs under him to be a consistent starter for an 82-game season, he is a force to be reckoned with off of the bench. All indications point to Allen Crabbe the season at the three-spot. It looks as though head coach Kenny Atkinson is going for younger, fresher legs.

This decision can pay off for both Crabbe and Carroll. Chances are that Carroll will be even more effective coming off the bench. This season, very few people will talk about the impact of the 6’7 “Junkyard Dog.”

Carroll will have an under-appreciated and undervalued role on this team – much like Andre Iguodala on the Warriors. However, the team will feel his impact in the win column.

And to think, that Carroll was gifted to Brooklyn, along with a first and second-round pick, for a player that doesn’t even have a spot on an NBA roster. Bravo Sean Marks, bravo!