Apparently Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri wasn’t including Terrence Ross when he kept saying he wanted to keep giving his guys a chance to show what they could do as on the first day of free agency he committed the bulk of his available salary cap space to land the Hawks unrestricted free agent small forward DeMarre Carroll with a four-year $60 million offer.
DeMarre Carroll has agreed to a four year, $60M deal with Toronto, league source tells Yahoo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2015
Carroll is a huge get for the Raptors Ujiri. Called a “Junkyard Dog” in college, Carroll is a Coach Casey style player, someone known for playing hard on every possession. At 6’8, Carroll has the size to play against the bigger small forwards in the NBA, something the Raptors have been lacking in their last two playoff appearances and with a 39.5 three-point field goal percentage, he can stretch the floor. Actually Carroll has proven to be a lot more than just a “3-and-D” guy as he has shown he can fill it up from the mid-range and in close just as well.
“The first thing about DeMarre that we all see, before he was here and now that he’s here, is just that he’s a great competitor,” said coach Mike Budenholzer (via Draft Express). “He’s one of the ultimate competitors in our league. He plays so hard on every possession. That’s probably more important than anything, as basic and fundamental as it may seem.”
In Atlanta, Carroll hasn’t been a huge stats guy, averaging just 12.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.3 steals and 31.3 minutes last season. However, he is just the kind of “glue-guy” or team player that should fit into the type of team Ujiri has been trying to build. In some ways, Ujiri is acknowledging the Raptors can’t compete for the big name free agents – at least not yet – and must continue to build along the same lines that created the Atlanta Hawks recent success.
With the move, the Raptors go from suspect depth on the wing to extremely solid if not elite with DeMar DeRozan and Carroll starting and Ross and James Johnson backing them up. However, Ujiri still has a fairly big hole a power forward unless the team intends to play small ball all season.
The advantage of acquiring Carroll is Ujiri can afford to sacrifice some offense at power forward in favor of rebounding, shot blocking and screen setting and that opens up a lot of alternatives in free agency and potential trades.
— DeMarre Carroll (@DeMarreCarroll1) July 1, 2015