When the trade that sent (in part) DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio for Kawhi Leonard, the former Raptor was not happy. With the franchise having already been spurned by Vince Carter and Chris Bosh in the past, DeRozan was committed and ready to be that first true franchise player for Toronto.
Then he found out he was traded. Apparently this was not a possibility that had been conveyed to him in recent discussions with Raptors management, and he let the world know how he felt about it on Instagram.
Today, Raptors team president Masai Ujiri had a press conference to discuss the trade (in case you’re wondering: no, Leonard was not there), and he apologized to DeRozan for the miscommunication.
“I want to not only apologize to DeMar DeRozan for maybe a gap of miscommunication, but also to acknowledge him and what he’s done here with the Raptors, for this city, for this country. There’s no measure to what this kid has done.” - Ujiri— (((Eric Koreen))) (@ekoreen) July 20, 2018
He also acknowledged they should have handled the situation better and promised to celebrate all DeRozan has done for the team.
Hopefully this will give him some closure as he makes the move down south. He was and still is highly beloved in The North, and being traded against your will after giving so much to the community is never ideal. However, that’s how sports work, especially if you don’t negotiate a no-trade clause into your contract. Hopefully when he arrives in San Antonio he’ll be able to see past the horrific summer heat and realize what a great organization and community he’ll have here as well.
I know it’s tough, but welcome to the Spurs, DeMar. We are ready to embrace you here in Texas just as much as you were in Canada. Here’s to a fresh new start for us all.