After the best season of his career, DeMar DeRozan has been named to the All-NBA Third Team, marking him as one of the best 15 players in the league this past season. The Raptors All-Star is joined by Draymond Green, Jimmy Butler, DeAndre Jordan, and John Wall — and DeMar even received four second team votes. Not bad.
By the official vote total, DeRozan is ranked 14th out of the 15 players who make the annual All-NBA list, but make no mistake: he belongs in this company. DeRozan broke records, made the All-Star team (for the third time), was named Player of the Week four times, set career highs in scoring (fifth overall in the league), and was the Raptors’ most reliable player for most of the season.
The most remarkable thing here though is this: Many, including this writer, never thought we’d get here with DeRozan. We remember all the times he’d make the wrong play, or dribble off his foot in a big spot. He was deemed a hopeless chucker more times than we’d like to admit. And yes, he’s not the best player in the league, he has off nights, he’s not the “ideal” guard as defined by the modern NBA, but DeRozan has continued to work on his game anyway. He has absolutely maximized its strengths, and looked to minimize the weaknesses.
There’s little doubt now that DeRozan can still improve. Where we once believed he was a one-dimensional player, destined for a few frustrating years in Toronto, now it’s safe to believe DeRozan can get even better.