DeMar DeRozan reveals what was said between Masai Ujiri and him before trade
DeMar DeRozan was devastated after learning he had been traded to the San Antonio Spurs after nine years playing for the Toronto Raptors, the same organization that said goodbye in the blink of an eye when the opportunity to acquire Kawhi Leonard suddenly arose.
The mid-range artist insisted he got lied to a week before the trade when he reportedly met with the Toronto Raptors’ brass during the Summer League in Las Vegas.
DeRozan sat down for a lengthy one-on-one interview with ESPN’s Chris Haynes, telling him what exactly went down before he was ultimately traded to the San Antonio Spurs.
Haynes: Did you ask if you were going to be traded?
DeRozan: “I asked, ‘Was I going to be traded? Was there anything going on, if it was a chance I’d be traded?’ And on multiple occasions it was, ‘No, it was nothing.’ If it is, then let the agent know or me know.”
Haynes: What were your emotions when you first heard?
DeRozan: “Man, I was really stuck. I couldn’t think for a second because it just didn’t feel real. I didn’t have no indication like it would be something else. If I knew that, I wouldn’t have reacted the way I did. I would have been prepared for it. But it caught me completely off-guard because I’m thinking this is another summer. Move forward. I talked to my teammates every single day how we can get better. So to hit me with that at midnight out the blue, like, c’mon. Two days prior, it was asked, ‘Is anything going on?’ If it is, just let me know because the rumors keep coming up. Two days later, you’re going here.”
Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in his press conference that there was “nothing imminent” when he first spoke with DeRozan, but talks with the Spurs organically ramped up over the next few days.
Reports indicate that Toronto engaged with San Antonio for nearly two weeks trying to get a deal done.
The All-Star slasher had asked only two days prior to his trade and he still was kept in the dark about a deal taking place — definitely not a good look for a Raptors front office who is now hoping to keep Leonard beyond this upcoming season.