DeMarre Carroll, who inked a four-year deal with the Raptors for $58MM in July, intends to remain focused on playing stout defense and said his large contract and big role with the team will not effect his mindset in terms of scoring, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun writes. Still, if not for the emergence of Carroll’s outside shooting, Wolstat contends that the small forward likely would not have been the Raptors’ prized free agent signing this summer. As Wolstat points out, Carroll hit 27 3-pointers over his first four seasons before making 97 and then 120 as a member of the Hawks.
Here’s more on the Raptors:
- Speaking of shooting from beyond the arc, Carroll believes star Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan‘s growth as a better shooter will be instrumental in the team’s success, Wolstat writes in the same piece. “I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of other things he worked on in his game and he’s a dominant offensive player [already],” Carroll said. “So I think if he adds that three-point to his game it’ll take us over the top.”
- In his weekly mailbag post, Doug Smith of The Toronto Star writes that the Raptors hope to see Jonas Valanciunas have a better anticipation and faster reaction to situations in games this upcoming season. The team recently extended Valanciunas to a deal worth $64MM over four years with a player option on the fourth year.