The San Antonio Spurs traded Kawhi Leonard one week ago, at long last, after months of rumors. The Spurs shipped him off to Toronto along with Danny Green, receiving DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a protected 2019 first-round pick in return.
It marked the end of an era for Toronto. DeRozan spent the first nine years of his career with the Raptors, who selected him No. 9 overall in 2009. DeRozan was the franchise's co-leader, along with Kyle Lowry, during the most successful run in its history.
It quickly became clear DeRozan was upset with how the trade was handled. He thought his future in Toronto was secure—or, at least, he thought the team would give him a heads up if he was on his way out. In a new interview with ESPN's Chris Haynes, DeRozan spoke out about his feelings on the move.
"I felt like I wasn't treated—what I sacrificed for nine years—with the respect that I thought I deserved," DeRozan told Haynes. "By just giving me the say-so of letting me know something's going on, or there's a chance, that's all I wanted. I'm not saying, 'you don't have to trade me.' Just let me know something's going on, because I sacrificed everything. Just let me know. That's all I ask."
#Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan (@DeMar_DeRozan) says he was treated unfairly by #Raptors’ Masai Ujiri in the sense that he was kept in the dark about the trade process. Essentially says he just wanted to know what was going on if a trade was going to go down. pic.twitter.com/L5rNWBED2x— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) July 25, 2018
DeRozan also believes the reasons Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri offered for making the deal were "B.S."
DeRozan tells ESPN: "I gave everything I had to that team. Every single day and night, whatever was asked from me to make us better. And it showed... So when (Ujiri) put that out there saying 'gave them chances' and 'I have to do something'... it's B.S. to me."— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) July 25, 2018
DeMar added that the day of the trade, he went over to Drake's house to talk through it.
"Yeah, day it came out, I went to Drake's house," he told Haynes. "Me and him, sat and talked for a couple of hours. Not even on some hoops stuff. Just to hear the words that come from him being the person that he is in this world, especially in Toronto. What I meant to this city. It was what I needed."
If you've followed DeRozan's career with Toronto over the years, you know the man has a point. This is a business, of course, and any player without a no-trade clause can be traded, but the Raptors still seemed to do him dirty.