Recently, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks topped 30,000 points with the same team. It’s a doubly hard feat to achieve — the scoring and the geographical singularity. Only Kobe Bryant can claim the exact same accomplishment. (Though, obviously Karl Malone and Michael Jordan did most of their scoring on one team. And in Malone’s case, he cracked 30k solely in Utah.)
Turning 28 this off-season, DeRozan has already spent eight years in Toronto. In that time he’s managed to amass 11,065 points (as of today). As he told The Athletic after Monday night’s game, DeRozan is aware of how far he has to go to hit that 30,000 barrier:
“Somebody said something to me the other night,” DeRozan told The Athletic after his post-game media scrum. DeRozan had a game-high 25 points on Monday. “He said, ‘You only got 19,000 more to go,’ or something like that. It don’t even seem (possible). It’s crazy.
“I mean, 30,000 is 30,000. I made it a given to make sure I watched that game. I was keeping track of the countdown. To do it with one team, that’s amazing. Anybody who stays with one team in any sport, I’m a big fan of it, because you don’t see it too often. To put up 30k, only sixth player to do it, with one team, you can’t not (do anything) but love that.”
The number that jumps out there, to me, is the 19,000. That’s a hell of a lot of points, and DeRozan’s got maybe ten years in which to get them. Given that the first half of his career has been a steady climb to his scoring average now, at 27.2 points per game, it seems likely he’ll reach 20,000, maybe even 25,000. But where does he end up? And can DeRozan hit 30k?
Let’s do some quick math.
Over the last four years in which the Raptors have been good and given a large chunk of the offense over to DeRozan’s shot attempts, DeMar has averaged between 20.1 and 27.2 points per game. That works out to 23.4 points per game for the entire stretch. (I’m loathe to include that injury year with the 20.1 low, but we’ve got to be fair and consistent here.)
Assuming DeRozan can stay relatively injury free (not impossible — he’s missed 39 of a possible 543 games dating back to his sophomore season), he could play a lot more games in seasons up to let’s say his 38th year. Is it crazy to imagine the Raptors give him another five year contract at 32? Perhaps, but let’s roll with it. We’ll assume he maintains a rough average of 25 points a game (up from 23.4 because of how much more scoring he’ll presumably do over the next couple of years) for the duration of his current contract. That’s another 10,250 points, which again, does seem doable. Let’s skim a pro-rated 750 points off that due to injury/rest, and we get 9,500.
Now at 32, and moving into the true veteran stage of his career, let’s shrink DeRozan’s scoring average to 20, because I like round numbers. We’ll take that average to his 35th year and then drop it dramatically to 10 for the final three. Is that fair? While it’s fair to assume DeRozan will spend the rest of his career in Toronto — a goal he has espoused many times — it’s hard to imagine him as the focal point of the offense forever. Nowitzki’s down to 14 points a game after an impressive run in his mid-20s, and DeMar’s not the same kind of shooter.
More math: 4,920 for the first three years, then 2,460 for the final three. Again, we’ll scrap off 600 to account for injury/rest/getting old (oh god it’s hard to imagine old DeMar, I don’t want to do it). That leaves us with a total of 6,780.
Add both of those together and we get a grand total of — drum roll, please — 16,280!
When you put that with DeRozan’s current total points, we get 27,345. That looks like a lot. There are obviously two major factors here with which I’m probably being a bit too conservative — scoring rate and games missed. It’s likely DeRozan’s scoring total will be more in the 25,000 range, or who knows, maybe he keeps up a steady 15 points per game until he’s 40.
What do you guys think? What’s the point total DeRozan reaches in his career?