It was just three months ago that the Toronto Raptors finished the best regular season in franchise history, winning 59 games to earn first place in the Eastern Conference.
DeMar DeRozan was at the top of his game, as head coach Dwane Casey had successfully revamped the team’s offensive game plan.
Seems like a long time ago now.
The team failed miserably in the playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers – again – so president Masai Ujiri wasn’t prepared to return next season with the same group.
Last summer, Ujiri made changes with the team’s support players – as Cory Joseph, DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Patterson, and PJ Tucker all left town. This year, he’s making changes at the top.
Despite being named the NBA’s Coach of the Year, Casey was fired and replaced by assistant Nick Nurse. And now, Ujiri has dropped another bomb, dealing DeRozan to San Antonio as part of a four-player deal to acquire Kawhi Leonard.
The deal surprised DeRozan, who reportedly believes he was lied to.
Meanwhile, @DeMar_DeRozan not backing off of claim he was lied to by Toronto regarding a potential trade, per source. Extremely upset.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 18, 2018
Sportsnet’s Michael Grange reports that DeRozan, a member of the Raptors since he was drafted in 2009, was assured by Ujiri that he would not be traded in a face-to-face meeting in Las Vegas.
“Be told one thing and the outcome another,” DeRozan posted on Instagram early Wednesday morning. “Can’t trust ’em. Ain’t no loyalty in this game. Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing.”
DeRozan has been a loyal soldier for the Raptors, helping the team reach new heights. After so many other star players in team history spurned the Raptors, DeRozan committed to Toronto.
That has many Raptors fans up in arms, as the player they’re receiving in return reportedly has “no desire” to play in Toronto.