NBA.com’s David Aldridge profiled how the relationship with new San Antonio Spurs star, DeMar DeRozan, broke down with the Toronto Raptors.
Before the trade to the San Antonio Spurs, DeMar DeRozan was a nine-year man for the Toronto Raptors, arriving there as the No. 9 pick of the 2009 NBA Draft. He led them to 50-win seasons, multiple playoff appearances and became the face of the franchise. That changed with Wednesday’s transaction, however, that sent him, Jakob Poeltl and a draft pick to San Antonio for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
Since then, the breakdown in communication between DeRozan and Toronto — specifically Raptors President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri — has been well documented. Ujiri and DeRozan had a conversation at Summer League that apparently assured the latter he would not move, but that obviously transpired differently.
NBA.com’s David Aldridge provided more clarity on the situation Monday, detailing how Toronto gambled on the DeRozan-Leonard trade. Ujiri told DeRozan no trade was “imminent,” but it’s unknown if he guaranteed a stay in Toronto.
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DeRozan’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, also met separately with Ujiri. He said ownership has yet to contact DeRozan since the deal.
“this is a business and more and more players are starting to understand they are only as good as the last game that they have played for some of these owners, presidents and GM’s. Not all, but some. Some will treat a player and their family and representation with respect, others don’t even return phone calls. DeMar to this day still has not heard anything from ownership.”
It’s a bitter breakup between two sides that seemed to work well for the past nine years. DeRozan found long-lasting success in Toronto and will probably have his number retired at some point, but clearly, hard feelings exist from the USC product and his agent.
Splits, like this, are not positive, but Spurs fans will look to move towards DeRozan’s team debut, which will not happen until the preseason starts in late September, while also veering away from the Leonard saga that plagued the organization since January. He will form a dynamic scoring duo with LaMarcus Aldridge, as they look to compete in the Western Conference for the 2018-19 season.