San Antonio Spurs: DeMar DeRozan to miss NBA Africa game
By Rob Wolkenbrod
After the trade to the San Antonio Spurs, DeMar DeRozan dropped out of the 2018 NBA Africa game.
After nine seasons with the Toronto Raptors, DeMar DeRozan went to the San Antonio Spurs in the multi-player trade for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. It was not without controversy, however, as DeRozan publicly called out Raptors President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri for how everything was handled.
Trade or not, DeRozan had a busy summer planned. It started with minicamp for Team USA Basketball, coached by Gregg Popovich, which started Wednesday.
DeMar DeRozan ➡️ @usabasketball pic.twitter.com/mNHm8QAqJF
— NBA (@NBA) July 26, 2018
After that, it was supposed to be involvement in Basketball Without Borders and the 2018 NBA Africa game. However, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, DeRozan withdrew from participating Wednesday.
San Antonio guard DeMar DeRozan has withdrawn from participating in Basketball Without Borders and the NBA Africa game, sources tell ESPN.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 25, 2018
The NBA Africa game is set to take place at Sun Arena in Time Square Casino in Pretoria, South Africa. No word on who if anyone will replace DeRozan in the Aug. 4 exhibition. Fellow Spur Rudy Gay was announced to participate in May.
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With Team USA and the trade to San Antonio, it makes sense for DeRozan to clear part of his schedule, potentially to head to Texas, acclimate and learn what’s expected of him in the 2018-19 season; it’s still over two months away, but the earlier the start on everything, the better.
This is the latest news on DeRozan, with his ESPN interview as the culmination of everything. It included the aforementioned criticism of the Raptors and the excitement to play with a chip on his shoulder in San Antonio; this can happen for at least two seasons, as he’s contracted through the 2019-20 season, with a player option for 2020-21.
DeRozan will enter his 10th NBA season this fall and look to continue on his career averages of 19.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. He picked up 23 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.2 assists in the 2017-18 campaign.