Tuesday 18th June 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Toronto Raptors Told DeMar DeRozan at Summer League They Wouldn’t Trade Him—And Then Did


DeMar DeRozan isn’t happy about being traded to the San Antonio Spurs, a move first reported by ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It’s hard to blame him under the circumstances.

As rumors that the Toronto Raptors were moving him in a deal for Kawhi Leonard were bandied about, DeRozan’s Instagram story churned out cryptic hints at betrayal:

Soon after, word officially came down that he was being sent to the Spurs, which seemed to be the root of DeRozan’s frustration. And it was. But he was also apparently pissed because the Raptors told him he wasn’t being traded in the first place.

From Wojnarowski:

Toronto and San Antonio have been talking about the trade for two weeks, and several incarnations of packages have been discussed, league sources said. Sources close to DeRozan told ESPN’s Chris Haynes that DeRozan met with Toronto officials in Las Vegas during summer league and believed that he would not be traded.

This is kind of a yikes moment for the Raptors’ front office. The NBA is a cruel beast, but it sucks someone as high up in the organization as DeRozan was essentially misled. The Raptors are under no obligation to divulge their plans to anyone, including those most directly impacted by their moves, but you might’ve expected a little more candor when it came to DeRozan, who has embraced the city and team unlike no other player before him.

Alas, that’s part of this business, and why players get paid as much as they do. It’s also likely a symptom of the Kawhi Leonard situation in general. The Spurs were no doubt playing this one close to the vest and didn’t want something concrete to leak out before they were ready for it to reach the public. DeRozan’s feelings are collateral damage in all of this, which is hardly fair. But at least he’ll have a chance to redeem himself on a Spurs squad known for prolonging its relevance.

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