Over the weekend, news broke that the Toronto Raptors dealt forward DeMarre Carroll to the Brooklyn Nets in what was essentially a salary dump.
In an effort to shed guaranteed money in order to get under the luxury tax penalty line after signing Kyle Lowry to a three-year, $100 million extension, the organization moved on from the defensive-minded wing and made a trade to acquire C.J. Miles shortly after to fill the void as a cheaper option.
After the deal went through, Carroll had some surprising words for his former team.
“I wasn’t surprised because I knew it was a lot of things going on last year that didn’t come out,” Carroll told the Toronto Sun.
“I wasn’t happy, my agent, we thought the style of ball was going to be different, it was going to be more team-oriented, but I guess it was still ISO, so I thought they would have moved me last year, but that didn’t happen.”
Clearly calling out the team’s offensive reliance on DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, Carroll explained his remarks by using his former team as an example.
“It’s hard to just change it all of a sudden. It’s a culture thing, you have to build it from the ground up and that’s what we did in Atlanta. We built the (culture) moving the ball and trusting each other,” he said.
He continued, “If you’ve been playing ISO ball so long, and that’s all you know, it’s going to be kind of hard. I think you have to bring certain guys in, certain coaches in, to really build that type of culture and I feel like Toronto is an ISO team, that’s what they win off (of), that’s what they’ve been playing off of for five, six years now.”
Despite his criticism of Toronto’s offense and general style of play, he hopes that they can make the proper adjustments starting in the fall. According to ESPN, Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri and coach Dwane Casey talked about changing the Raptors’ style to a more team-oriented attack for the 2017-18 season after Toronto was swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in this year’s NBA playoffs.
“They say they’re going to try something different, I would love to see it (work). It’s always good to do it,” he explained. But, that doesn’t mean he’s optimistic about Lowry and DeRozan’s influence on the team’s style of play, especially when adversity hits.
“But once adversity hits and stuff starts going wrong, guys are going to go back to ISO basketball, that’s how it is,” Carroll said. “You’ve got to trust it. It’s one of those things you’ve got to build, you’ve just got to trust each other. This year, I feel like a lot of guys didn’t trust each other and a lot of guys, they didn’t feel like other guys could produce or (be) given the opportunity, so there was a lot of lack of trust on our team, so that’s what hindered us from going (as far as they wanted to go).”
Until he revealed it, the public didn’t hear of any trust issues in Toronto last season.
Next season as a member of the Nets, Carroll should receive an opportunity to play major minutes on a rebuilding team. It remains to be seen whether or not he will approve of Kenny Atkinson’s style of offense, but given the current status of his new team (that went 20-62 last season), he might end up missing playing for a contender.