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Dwane Casey praises DeMar DeRozan

Dwane Casey, DeMar DeRozan

Several teams around the NBA landscape made moves this offseason in an attempt to bolster their respective rosters. One such team is the San Antonio Spurs, who sent Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan. Though the move was met with a certain level of speculation at that time, former Raptors and current Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey is still finding ways to praise DeRozan’s game.

“DeMar DeRozan is like a son (to me),” Casey said in a recent interview with Sirius XM. “I love the young man. I know he has a dad in Frank, and his mom did a great job of raising him.

“The first person I met when I walked into Toronto’s press conference was DeMar DeRozan,” Casey continued. “He was there — coat and tie — in his second year in the league.

“I look at him, and he’s a big part of what I look back on in Toronto,” Casey added. “(I enjoyed) watching that young man grow, watching him become a four-time All-Star, and all-pro in his career.

“I teased him all of the time when I first got there,” Casey noted as he recalled a particular memory with DeRozan. “When he ran a pick-and-roll, he’d throw that joker three rows up into the stands. Then, the last two or three years, he was our best pick-and-roll player. That’s kind of an unknown secret, but we put him in pick-and-rolls just as much as Kyle (Lowry).”

DeRozan, now 29 years of age, made 80 appearances with the Raptors during their 2017-18 regular season campaign, racking up averages of 23.0 points on 45.6 percent shooting from the field (31.0 percent from beyond the arc), 5.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 33.9 minutes per outing.

Though they are no longer members of the same team, it’s clear to see that coach Casey still has the utmost respect for DeRozan.