From college books to play books, should DeRozan be handed the keys to a starting position? How would you manage DD's role in his rookie season. More after the jump.
DeRozan should start the season on the bench. IMHO, its best when young players grow into a peripheral role with a team, then earn their way up the ladder. And this philosophy wouldn't just extend to freshman either. Deron Williams was picked third overall, and was coming off an NCAA championship winning senior season. Yet he started the year on the bench, getting used to the "Utah way".
A quibble I have with handing a rookie the reins right away is two fold. Instead of having them adjust to the way the team does things, you run the risk them thinking "I'm gonna keep doing what I'm doing, since it's obviously working (ie starting spot)". The second aspect relates to consistency. Rookies are transitioning to a longer season against stronger opponents. Starting the season on the bench encourages an upward trajectory of both actual and perceived performance. As they practice harder and learn the team's schemes, they are rewarded with greater opportunities and more playing time. Thus, even when they hit the "rookie wall" they can still look back favorably on their progress up the peaking order.
If they begin the season with a starting spot, there is a possibility they will lose it once they hit the aforementioned wall. I wouldn't gamble on the maturity of a 19 year old when it comes to putting the loss of a starting spot into a big picture perspective. This is increased when under the bright lights of the NBA, where the media and fans bombard you with the message that you're the next big thing. I would much rather have them earn a starting spot, once the coach is confident they can handle it for the rest of the season.
Tim Chisholm has a favorable view of Antoine Wright's fit on THIS team as a starter. However, where does that leave Delfino? And if Delfino returns, are there enough minutes at SG for Delfino, DeRozan, Wright, and J.Jack?