Despite being on the receiving end of one of the summer’s most controversial trades in recent years, San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan sides with the players when it comes to trade requests.
Today San Antonio Express News’ Tom Orsborn reported:
We all have the right, and if you feel that way, if you are not comfortable, if you want to go somewhere else that you feel you will be better off being at, go for it. I’m all for it. Nobody should feel enclosed to be at one place if they don’t feel like it. I don’t have a problem with it. - DeMar DeRozan
That’s an unexpected comment considering DeRozan did not want to leave Toronto. One might wonder if his support of player’s choice could leave the door open for him in the future.
His support is in the alignment of head coach Gregg Popovich, who remains on the players’ side despite his post-Duncan career taking new turn after the Spurs were forced to trade a disgruntled Kawhi Leonard.
I still have to side with individuals doing what they want with the rest of their lives.- Gregg Popovich
Despite the huge paydays players earn and the ability to limit the terms of their contracts, some still want the ability to walk away. DeRozan stated:
A normal person at a job, if they don’t want to work at that job any more, they can easily put in their 30-day notice and go elsewhere if it’s best for them. I don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to have that same right.
In a league currently led by player whims, coaches get axed at the request of superstars (LeBron James) and trades are dictated by athletes refusing to suit up (Leonard, Jimmy Butler). This newer model may eventually force coaches into the shadows of team leadership.
Pop is one of the last coaches to have control. A major facet to his success was his ability to treat all players as equals. He was known to tear into Tim Duncan as readily as the youngster at the end of the bench. While that may speak as much about Big Fun as Pop, it is still an anomaly in today’s NBA.
In the same vein, DeRozan is one of the last players to show such dedication to the team that drafted him. When his big payday was looming in 2016, pundits predicted he would head back to his home and join the Los Angeles Lakers. Quickly and unceremoniously, DmDr resigned with the Toronto Raptors for 5 years. And as mentioned, he was none-too-excited to be shuffled to San Antonio after being told he wouldn’t be traded.
If these two guys are on board with player choice, what does it say about the NBA overall?
What do you think, Pounders: should players be able to dictate the terms of their trades?