DeMarre Carroll is excited to be joining the Brooklyn Nets.
Or rather, he’s at least happy to be leaving the Toronto Raptors.
In a candid interview with the Toronto Sun‘s Ryan Wolstat, Carroll expressed that he expected more out of his two-tenure with the Raptors:
I wasn’t surprised because I knew it was a lot of things going on last year that didn’t come out,” Carroll told Postmedia on Sunday in his first interview following the deal.
“I wasn’t happy, my agent, we thought the style of ball was going to be different, it was going to be more team-oriented, but I guess it was still ISO (isolation), so I thought they would have moved me last year, but that didn’t happen.”
“They say they’re going to try something different, I would love to see it (work). It’s always good to do it,” he said, adding he believes they will start the season trying to stick to the new plan.
“But once adversity hits and stuff starts going wrong, guys are going to go back to ISO basketball, that’s how it is. You’ve got to trust it. It’s one of those things you’ve got to build, you’ve just got to trust each other. This year, I feel like a lot of guys didn’t trust each other and a lot of guys, they didn’t feel like other guys could produce or (be) given the opportunity, so there was a lot of lack of trust on our team, so that’s what hindered us from going (as far as they wanted to go).”
Comparing the Raptors to Carroll’s Atlanta Hawks team is unfair. They never had the isolation scorers the Raptors do in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. To some extent, you have to go with what works—not to mention what your team is built for.
Lowry shouldn’t have trouble adjusting to a more movement-heavy system, but DeRozan isn’t that much of an off-ball weapon. He doesn’t have consistent three-point range and isn’t someone who can fire away at will off the catch. The Raptors have near-max money invested in him, so they have to construct the offense around his dribble drives, isos and post-ups. It wouldn’t make sense to try something different altogether.
Still, the Raptors do want to change the way they play next season, and it’ll be interesting to see how that turns out. Carroll wasn’t healthy his first season in Toronto and underperformed through 72 appearances last year, but he’s a better passer than the incoming C.J. Miles and the recently re-signed Serge Ibaka. Ditto for the departed Patrick Patterson, who is now a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On top of all that, the Raptors are sending Cory Joseph, their backup point guard and one of their best playmakers, to the Indiana Pacers as part of the sign-and-trade for Miles. It’s not going to be easy to implement a new offensive style by any stretch. There’s a chance this team takes a step back—not just into their old, usual offensive ways, but in the win column as well.