Players are often understandably unhappy about being traded, because nobody much likes suddenly learning that they are going to spend the next few months or years living and playing in a city that they did not plan on living or playing in. Trades lead to hard feelings, but usually those are effectively papered over with quotes like, “I was sad to go but I understand this is a business, and I’m excited for a fresh start.” I don’t think that’s going to happen with DeMar DeRozan.
According to everyone who has heard anything from DeRozan’s camp since news broke that the Toronto Raptors are trading him to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard, DeRozan is pissed. Not “I didn’t see this coming and I’m upset” pissed, but “Those fuckers lied to my face!” pissed. ESPN reported that DeRozan met with Raptors’ brass during summer league and was given assurances that he wouldn’t be traded. DeRozan appears to be counting this as a betrayal:
His Instagram stories page paints a pretty bleak picture:
You can often tell how hard a player is taking a trade based on how other players in the league react to it. These guys talk to each other, and they know when someone has been treated badly:
DeRozan seems to have really enjoyed playing in Toronto; it’s where he developed from a talented but limited player into an all-star, and it’s where he helped establish one of the most successful franchises in the conference with his friend Kyle Lowry. Nobody can really blame Toronto for making this trade, which essentially boils down to surrendering two years of DeRozan for one year of Leonard, but it’s never fun to see a guy get ditched by a franchise he was truly dedicated to. Remember this the next time someone complains about how players need to learn a thing or two about loyalty.