DeMar DeRozan has not had the best season. He is struggling to score and his team, a contender in years past, is now stuck in mediocrity. The Toronto Raptors have been a below-average shooting club this year but it’s clear that DeRozan was expected to have more impact on offense than he does at present.

DeMar DeRozan is a player who has seen his production go up and down throughout the season. He’s been in the top 10 for scoring, but he’s had moments where he hasn’t been able to find the basket at all. Read more in detail here: nba mvp race demar derozan.

Is Chicago Bulls Star DeMar DeRozan a True MVP Candidate? Or Instead a Potential Most Improved Winner?

When NBA analyst Brian Scalabrine was recently breaking down DeMar DeRozan’s career, he believed he was giving the Chicago Bulls star guard a great compliment when he said he should be a top contender for the NBA’s Most Improved Award.

To Nikola Vucevic, DeRozan’s college teammate at USC and now with the Bulls, praising the guard for Most Improved was not only a backhanded praise, but also a blatant affront to all he has achieved this season.

Of course, Scalabrine had no ill will against DeRozan when he named him the Most Improved Player. And, of course, Vucevic was correct in standing up for a teammate who he believed had been slighted while simultaneously nominating him for the game’s most prestigious honor last week in Atlanta.

Scalabrine’s explanation concerning Chicago Bulls player DeMar DeRozan and the MIP award should be listened to by those who are critical of him.

For additional context, consider how Scalabrine came to the conclusion that Chicago Bulls standout DeMar DeRozan had improved his game significantly.

Scalabrine mentioned DeRozan’s embarrassingly poor assist stats early in his career on SiriusXM NBA Radio’s The Starting Lineup program with host Frank Isola. He then compared those figures to his progress as a playmaker over the course of his three seasons in San Antonio. He also mentioned how DeRozan’s increased playmaking is ideal for Chicago, where he has numerous other outstanding shooters and scorers, including Vucevic.

“Last year, two things happened: his assist stats skyrocketed in San Antonio, and right now, he simply has a lot better feel for the game,” Scalabrine said. “Did you know that he once averaged 1.8 assists and then (really 2.0) assists the following year?” I believe he averaged (really 6.9) assists per game last season?

“So, he’s turning into this guy that you can throw the ball in his hands and he’ll create plays for you,” Scalabrine added. “Now (in Chicago), he’s surrounded by terrific players, the ideal squad.” I’m not sure whether he’ll receive Most Improved, but he should be seriously considered.”

Those remarks attracted the good-natured Vucevic’s attention and maybe startled him a little. Given that DeRozan had just completed an unprecedented achievement in NBA history by hitting game-winning, buzzer-beating jumpers on consecutive nights, he believed the 32-year-old DeRozan deserved a far higher recognition than the Most Improved title.

Vucevic tweeted to his roughly 154,000 followers, “I believe be (sic) intended to say most valuable.”

DeMar DeRozan is having his most complete season ever, despite being in his 13th year.

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DeRozan is seventh in the NBA in scoring with 26.9 points per game through 32 games. That’s the most he’s scored in five seasons, and it’s only second to the 27.3 points per game he averaged in 2016-17. DeRozan has also averaged at least 20 points per game for the last nine seasons. He returned to the United Center court after a recent loss to the Orlando Magic to work on his free-throw form, demonstrating his desire to put in additional time on his shot.

The difference between this season and his nine in Toronto is that DeRozan is now a significantly greater playmaker who consistently improves others around him, particularly Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic. During his three seasons in San Antonio, he evolved from an isolation-heavy player intent on getting his own shot to a willing distributor. Of course, playing under famous Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who despises nothing more than players who pound the air out of the ball, had a lot to do with it.

He has diced through opponents with his passing, in addition to scoring 10 games with 25 points and nine games with 30 points. His 10 assists against the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 27 helped the Bulls score 130 points, and he’s also had games with eight and seven assists. He’s also scored seven goals and assisted on at least six others.

Is DeMar DeRozan capable of making the transition from NBA All-Star to real MVP contender?

DeRozan has already received MVP support from teammates Lonzo Ball and Nikola Vucevic, but is the basketball world ready to recognize him with the sport’s highest honor? Kevin Durant (29.7 points per game), Trae Young (28.4 points per game), and Giannis Antetokounmpo (27.9 points per game) all have higher scoring averages, while Stephen Curry (27.2 points per game) has the Golden State Warriors back on top of the Western Conference.

Despite being in his 13th NBA season, DeRozan is the newest member of this club. He’d be the oldest player to win the Most Improved Player honor, at 32 years old. Karl Malone (35 years old in 1999), Michael Jordan (35 years old in 1998), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33 years old in 1980) are the league’s oldest MVP winners.

DeRozan’s contribution to the Bulls’ ascension to the top of the Eastern Conference is a huge plus. That was the first time the team had been there since 2011, when Derrick Rose was still healthy and a talented point guard.

Scalabrine, in a remark that will surely pique the interest of Vucevic and every Bulls fan on the world, seems to be unconvinced that DeRozan can maintain his MVP-caliber performance throughout the season. Of course, only time will tell whether he can maintain his stellar all-around performance and remain in the MVP debate.

On SiriusXM’s NBA Radio program, Scalabrine remarked, “Being an all-star and an MVP contender, that’s a big difference, a massive gap.” “Everyone thinks, ‘Ahhhh, he’s right there,’ but (the MVP award) is a significant step up from where he is now.”

ESPN.com provided the statistics.

RELATED: DeMar DeRozan Turned Down the Stage to Honor Teammate Lonzo Ball

Watch This Video-

DeMar DeRozan is a player who has been in the league for 8 years and is now on his 6th team. In that time, he has won 2 NBA Championships, an All-Star Game MVP, and an Olympic Gold Medal. Despite these accomplishments, DeMar DeRozan does not have the statistics to be considered a true MVP candidate. Instead, he could very well be a potential Most Improved Winner. Reference: lebron james stats.

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