During the Toronto Raptors’ exciting triple-overtime loss to the Utah Jazz, DeMar DeRozan scored 37 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Eric Koreen of the National Post wrote that DeRozan’s performance was reminiscent of former Raptor Vince Carter:
DeMar DeRozan, three years and seven games into his NBA career, did not suddenly become Vince Carter on Monday night. But he offered his best Carter imitation. His 37-point, eight-rebound effort in 60 minutes of a triple-overtime loss to Utah was remarkably similar to a Carter line in another triple-overtime loss in 2001, this one to Sacramento: 38 points and 19 rebounds in 63 minutes.
Koreen made a factual error (or a typo) — Carter had 10 rebounds that night, not 19. But even with “only” ten rebounds, Carter had the better game, as evidenced by the table below:
|Player||DeMar DeRozan||Vince Carter|
The bottom row is the Win Score per 48 minutes of the two players. Win Score is a simple way to check if a player is playing well; the higher the Win Score, the more productive the game. By looking at Win Score per 48 minutes, we also control for the number of minutes played. The WS/48 values tells us that Carter had a much better game than DeRozan, and while this is only a one-game sample of both players, that is also the case when we examine each player’s first three NBA seasons:
|DeRozan Year 1||3.6||NA|
|DeRozan Year 2||2.9||-0.7|
|DeRozan Year 3||0.6||-2.3|
|Carter Year 1||5.2||NA|
|Carter Year 2||7.0||1.8|
|Carter Year 3||7.9||0.9|
Vince Carter was a much better player; the WS/48 in each of his first three seasons was much higher than DeRozan’s. Also of note is that while Carter actually improved after each of his first three years, DeRozan has actually gotten worse each season he’s been in the league.
Maybe Koreen meant what he wrote literally — that DeRozan’s performance in the triple-overtime loss was “his best Carter impersonation”. This also doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Of the eight games he’s played so far this season, the 3OT loss ranked as only DeRozan’s fourth most productive:
|11/04/2012 vs. MIN||32||0.444||0.3|
|11/03/2012 vs. BRK||33||0.371||0.25|
|11/07/2012 vs. DAL||40||0.216||0.18|
|11/12/2012 vs. UTH||60||0.001||0|
|10/31/2012 vs. IND||27||-0.039||-0.02|
|11/10/2012 vs. PHI||44||-0.057||-0.05|
|11/13/2012 vs. IND||40||-0.08||-0.07|
|11/06/2012 vs. OKC||27||-0.358||-0.2|
As a matter of fact, the game wouldn’t even rank in the top 100 most productive games of DeRozan’s 230 game career, let alone Vince Carter’s.
I also need to take this opportunity to re-emphasize how bad DeRozan’s recent extension is. DeRozan was signed to a four year, $38 million extension by Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo (the same man who threw a five year, $50 million deal at Andrea Bargnani). Here’s how DeRozan’s earnings will compare to Carter’s by the end of the new extension:
|Vince Carter||DeMar DeRozan|
|Season||Age||Salary ($)||Wins||Season||Age||Salary ($)||Wins|
* numbers have been pro-rated to an 82 game season
That should be a frightening sight for Raptors fans. DeRozan is a guard-forward who rebounds like Steve Nash, shoots like Desmond Mason, has a reputation of being a poor defender, and was the second or third least productive guard/forward in the league last year, depending on who you classify as a guard/forward. Does that sound like a “wise investment“?