What constitutes a bounce back?
Does an improvement over his first injury-riddled season with the Toronto Raptors count as a bounce back? If so then yes DeMarre Carroll should have a bounce back season with the Raptors. However, if a bounce back is a repeat of his career year for the Atlanta Hawks I would have to say no.
In Carroll’s last season with the Hawks they were 2nd in assists per game, and one of the best-flowing offenses in the NBA. Last season in Carroll’s first season with the Raptors they were on the polar opposite of the spectrum, finishing 29th in assists per game.
Carroll is still a very good NBA wing defender, and proved it two years ago with the Atlanta Hawks when he slowed down LeBron James in the playoffs. The kind of physical one-on-one defense Carroll plays isn’t determined by team build or coaching set. That part of his game shouldn’t change at all if he remains healthy. Is Carroll the best wing defender on the Raptors? It’s possible, but Norman Powell seemed like the only guy on the Raptors that could contain Paul George in the playoffs.
Carroll had an interesting shooting season. In 26 regular season games, Carroll shot 39% from the field and almost exactly the same from three. In 20 playoff games, he shot 39% overall and 33% from three. When you consider he missed a lot of open threes because defenders weren’t covering him on the perimeter, it begins to sound worse.
A lot of people will point to Carroll’s injuries as an explanation for his funky shooting. I buy it a little, but Carroll is not a player that excels in isolations, which Dwane Casey tends to run a lot of.
In Carroll’s first season with the Hawks he shot 47% from the field and 36% from three. In his second season with the Hawks, he shot 48.7% from the field and 39.5% from 3. If DeMarre Carroll was back with the Hawks those second-year shooting numbers would be extremely difficult to repeat. With the Raptors those numbers are next to impossible.
Can Norman Powell or Terrence Ross eat into DeMarre Carroll’s minutes?
Carroll could potentially lose a few minutes to the surging Powell, but it's unlikely to make too much of an impact. As good as Powell has been, he’s best suited for a 6th man role where he brings energy off the bench. Ross isn’t much of a threat to steal minutes because he’s been giving ample opportunity over the years and hasn’t shown he can consistently be more than a one-tool three-point shooter. However, Ross will get still his 20 minutes per game so the Raptors can always have a floor spacer on the court.
Don’t expect Carroll to make the all-star game or hear anyone say he got snubbed from the all-star game. He is a player who is a well above average on defense and isn’t a liability on offense. Does that make Carroll a role player? Maybe, but he’s a good character player that every team in the NBA would love to have.