DeMarre Carroll, SF
Whenever DeMarre Carroll’s basketball career ends, he will likely have to undergo a liver transplant. He transferred to the University of Missouri in 2006 after a terrific sophomore season at Vanderbilt. Upon arriving at Missouri, DeMarre developed a rash on both of his legs. The rash would not go away. DeMarre went to see a doctor, assuming he was just allergic to something. Instead, he learned that he was suffering from a rare liver disease. Carroll kept his situation quiet throughout the remainder of his college career. But, when he entered the NBA Draft in 2009, news of his condition leaked. The story was so unique that the New York Times published an Associated Press piece on DeMarre’s liver disease while he was going through pre-draft workouts (link here)
Doctors do not think DeMarre’s liver disease will ever impact his basketball career. Nonetheless, he has been forced to show persistence since being drafted 27th by the Memphis Grizzles in the 2009 NBA Draft.
According to information obtained from DeMarre’s Wikipedia page, in December of his second season with the Grizzles, he was sent to the D-league and was called up roughly a month later. He was then traded to Houston and promptly waived at the end of the season. Carroll next had a short stint with the Denver Nuggets, but was let go only four games into the strike shortened 2011-2012 season.
In February of that season, Carroll signed with the Utah Jazz and found a role that would last for a season and a half. Now, he finds himself in Atlanta.
DeMarre was given the nickname “Junk Yard Dog” during his playing days at the University of Missouri, as a tribute to his tenacious style of play. The name has stuck. Though not much of an offensive threat, Carroll will defend and play hard. Coming off the Utah Jazz bench last season, he was often asked to defend the opponent’s best player.
Carroll will probably be asked to play a slightly more expanded role than the one he played with the Jazz. As a bench player, he averaged 16.8 minutes a game. Odds are, based on the current Hawks roster, he will receive more floor time this season. Look for the Hawks to count on him being a defensive presence.
My Take: I love this signing. DeMarre Carroll has been given nothing in this league and finally has a chance to assume a regular role with the Hawks. He will rise to the challenge. He will have a great shot of being a fan favorite at the Highlight Factory this season. Also, if he improves his shooting, we may look back on him as being a surprise steal of this offseason.