DeMar DeRozan believes he did not get the respect he deserved after failing to be informed about the trade that sent him from the Toronto Raptors to the San Antonio Spurs
DeRozan, 28, was one of the central figures in a huge deal that saw the guard – a four-time NBA All-Star – swap places with 2014 Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.
It was a trade that also surprised DeRozan, who felt Raptors president Masai Ujiri did not inform him that his time in Toronto would be coming to an end after nine seasons with the Canadian franchise.
“I felt like I wasn’t treated with what I sacrificed for nine years, with the respect that I thought I deserved,” DeRozan told ESPN.
“By just giving me the say so of letting me know something’s going on, or it’s a chance. That’s all I wanted. I’m not saying, ‘You don’t have to trade me’ or … just let me know something is going on, because I sacrificed everything.
“Everybody knows I’m the most low-maintenance person in the world. Just let me know, so I can prepare myself for whatever my next chapter is, and I didn’t get that.”
The full trade sent DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick to San Antonio in exchange for Leonard and Danny Green. Although Leonard had been a hot topic of trade rumours in the offseason, DeRozan had only heard whispers, and was stunned by the deal.
“Man, I was really stuck,” he said.
“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 team-mates every single day about 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 rumours keep coming up. Two days later, you’re going here.”