When they were 22 years old in their fourth NBA season, both DeMar DeRozan and Jordan Poole signed life-changing deals.
DeRozan signed a four-year $38 million contract with the Raptors in 2012, while last summer, Poole signed a four-year extension worth $128 million with the Warriors.
Unfortunately for Poole, since signing that contract he hasn’t lived up to expectations and had a rather forgettable postseason against the Kings and Lakers respectively.
DeRozan feels for the shooting guard and hopes his dip in performance will just make him a better NBA player in the future.
“We all done had our shares of struggles, and sometimes those struggles are necessary for … what’s to come later,” DeRozan said on Podcast P With Paul George. “That’s the way I look at it. It sucks that he’s struggling for his team. I’m sure he wants to do everything to help his team. But sometimes, for his career, this may be something he needs to be even ten times better than he could even expect later if this didn’t happen.”
Now playing for the Bulls, DeRozan has had to deal with his fair share of criticism as well – especially when it comes to the postseason.
DeMar currently has the lowest career plus-minus (-371) in NBA playoff history and has never recorded a positive plus-minus in any of his seven postseason runs.
In last season’s playoffs his PPG average (20.8) was much lower (7.1) than his regular season average, so he acknowledged that most NBA players (himself included) go through it at some point.
“We not Michael Jordan,” DeRozan said. “It’s only one Michael Jordan, and even he had his moments where he was some sh*t. And he figured it out. It made him more resilient and he came back. So that’s how I look at it. I don’t think it’s because of all that other stuff. That’s just my opinion.
“If he [Poole] wasn’t going through this moment that he’s going through now, would he pan out to be the player that he probably sees his self to be? Probably not. You probably need this moment to become more later down the line. It sucks in the moment but that’s how I look at it. Because I been through it, P [Paul George] been through it – we been through that. And sometimes that’s the sh*t that builds you up to even be more of a more resilient player. Because, sh*t, your favorite players, everybody done went through it someway, somehow.”