There is no better word to describe the DeMar DeRozan who arrived in the NBA in the fall of 2009 than “raw.”

He was a 19-year-old colt, untrained and unpolished, with abundant promise but no grounding, he’d spent one year in college getting by on his astonishing athleticism and that was enough at that level.

He could, in the vernacular, “jump out of the gym” but that was about it. He was an athlete far more than he was a basketball player and no one could tell where the career arc was going.

Four and a half years hence, there is another word that may soon describe the Raptors swingman and most significant offensive threat.


Now a grizzled old veteran at 24 years old, DeRozan could very well become just the fourth Raptor be named to a mid-season all-star team when the results of balloting among Eastern Conference coaches for seven backups to the roster are announced Thursday night.

He would join Vince Carter, Chris Bosh and Antonio Davis (added as an injury replacement) as the only players to represent the franchise in one of the NBA’s marquee events.

While he waits for the news, DeRozan’s immediate Raptors future is clouded. He suffered a sprained ankle/foot in a Saturday night loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and did not play in Monday’s win over the Nets in Brooklyn.

The Raptors did not hold a full practice Tuesday and coach Dwane Casey said there was no timetable for DeRozan’s return. However, DeRozan was on the Air Canada Centre practice court Tuesday working out lightly and will be re-examined Wednesday before Toronto takes on the Orlando Magic.