The Kawhi – DeRozan/Green trade was an end to the saga that had San Antonio in the spotlight in a way we were not used to seeing. Drama and Spurs don’t go together in a sentence. The moment it happened, the drama moved to Toronto. DeMar DeRozan felt he was given assurances he will not be traded and then he got a call while sitting in his car at a parking lot at 2:00 am, that he was traded to San Antonio.
As we found out in Kyle Lowry’s interview with Rachel Nichols from The Jump, he called Lowry who was sleeping at 2:30 am, woke him up and shocked him as well. Both didn’t really have words. The two became best friends and love playing for the Raptors. The plan was to play out their career in Toronto (not something many players do – google Vince Carter and Chris Bosh). Then Masai Ujiri ruined the plan for them.
DeRozan was very straightforward about feeling betrayed by the organization, primarily Ujiri. In conversations leading up to the trade, his name was mentioned many times and he felt Ujiri guaranteed he is not going to be traded. Ujiri later apologized that he may not have been clear enough with DeMar about his plans, but stated he never gave out such guarantees. Whatever may be the case, the trade was happening and there was a new reality to be accepted. So, with Toronto sitting at 21-5 at the top of the East, how are things going in Toronto?
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Seems Kyle will not let go of this one that soon. The reality of the business is that as much as he obviously resents the way Ujiri has handled things, he is under contract for this and next year. As long as he gets on with the coach and his teammates, this is a situation Ujiri can live with. He got a better player in the trade with a valuable starter in Danny Green as well. The Raptors are clearly better, especially in the playoffs.
Everyone agrees this was a trade you do a 100 out of a 100 times. The fact the Spurs didn’t ask for Anunoby or Siakam made it a slam dunk for the Raptors. If Kawhi leaves, you can trade Lowry and start a quick rebuild with a few very good players already on the team. If they win and Kawhi stays, they have a great team moving forward. Either way, the GM did a good job.