ATLANTA – Humbly nicknamed “The Junkyard Dog”, DeMarre Carroll was a nice signing for the Hawks. Bouncing around 5 teams through his first 5 seasons, Carroll signed a 2 year deal worth 5 million dollars this off-season. Lacking depth on the wing, Carroll has a real chance to start at small forward this season. “Oh yeah, going to camp, I’m a competitor. I’m going to go in there, in my mind I’m fighting for a starting spot. I’m going to go in there and try and play as hard as I can, stay true to myself, and just be the Junkyard Dog,” Caroll said when addressing the starting small forward.
Coming to Atlanta, he saw something he wanted to be a part of, “The biggest thing was definitely not the money, because I could have got paid; I’m not going to disclose the team, but my agent told me I could have got paid more money. The biggest thing for me was [that] all GM’s want you, but when a coach wants you, he’s the the one who plays the players. Coach really wanted me, and he really reached out, him and couple other coaches, but coach Bud let me know that we want you here,” Caroll told me.
The most surprising thing Caroll talked about was his displeasure with the Utah Jazz on offense. He feels as if he is underrated on the offensive end, and Utah had muzzled him. “I think that’s my biggest thing, I’ve been put in a lot of situations where people didn’t want me to play offense , not really want me, but they didn’t allow me. Especially in Utah, I was stuck in the corner. We ran the same play, and did the same thing. It was kind of repetitive,” Caroll added on Monday. He says that he is more that just hustle and defense, “Coach out here, he’s going to allow me to get out here and play, just like I was in Missouri. I was at Vanderbilt, and we did the same thing, a lot of people don’t remember I went to Vanderbilt for 2 years. I went to Vanderbilt, and we were doing the same offense, Princeton style offense, and people were like ‘aw he’s not good on offense.’ I get to Missouri, and my uncle let’s me play, and now he’s a basketball player.”
“I’ve been working on my jumper non-stop, so I got a lot of surprises for everybody,” Caroll said in regards to his role. If he can give the Hawks something on offense, it will be a bonus. Caroll has the potential to have a role that supersedes his previous one. As for playing for 5 teams in 5 years, he feels as if he has found a permanent home.