Toronto Raptors: Breaking down DeMar DeRozan’s comments on trade

PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 13: DeMar DeRozan /

In his first interview since being trading by the Toronto Raptors, DeMar DeRozan didn’t hold back on how he felt about the situation.

DeMar DeRozan made it known he wasn’t thrilled with how his time with the Toronto Raptors ended and in his first public interview since the trade he doubled down on those feelings.

The former Raptors forward spoke with Chris Haynes of ESPN about the move and explained his motive behind his messages on Instagram.

"“I felt like I wasn’t treated—with what I sacrificed for nine years—with the respect that I thought I deserved,” DeRozan explained. “By just giving me the say-so of letting me know something’s going on, or it’s a chance [that I’d be traded]. That’s all I wanted. I’m not saying you don’t have to trade me. Just let me know something’s going on because I sacrificed everything. Just let me know, you know what I mean? That’s all I ask.”"

As many would expect the 28-year-old had more of an issue with Masai Ujiri not being upfront with him about his future than being moved. Sure DeRozan isn’t happy about being traded but he thought his commitment to the team was worth being kept in the loop.

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Another notable part of the interview was when he talked about being excited to do what Toronto couldn’t get done which was move past the Cleveland Cavaliers. He made it seem that with LeBron James leaving to the East, it was a major hurdle out of the way.

Unfortunately, Ujiri didn’t see it that way and with Dwane Casey gone, the pressure was on him to think of a way to make the team better and he did.

DeRozan also mentioned all the work he did to improve his game but in reality that wasn’t enough to get the Raptors to the next level. That’s why getting a player like Kawhi Leonard isn’t easy to pass up.

Doug Smith of the Toronto Star recently spoke to former Raptor Charles Oakley about the deal and he offered up a fair assessment of it.

"“They traded Vince (Carter), anybody’s tradeable,” Oakley told Smith. “He was the best player, I think, in this whole Raptors franchise, the best player to ever come through here.“You know, Kareem got traded, Dr. J got traded, Shaq. Just go to San Antonio and play.”"

That’s a part missing from all of this is that it’s not like the Raptors are sending DeRozan to a bad team, he’s going to a Spurs team with Greg Popovich in charge.

When it comes to loyalty, Oakley believes that it shouldn’t have a place especially with how much players are getting paid.

"“I don’t get caught up in that, the loyalty,” he said. “They don’t owe you nothing. They’re paying you money, they’re paying you to play so whatever happens. I tell players who are playing who say ‘I don’t like that coach’ or ‘I don’t like this coach’ that at the end of the day, if the coach don’t win, the coach gets fired. Sometimes players get traded (but the) coach gets fired before the players.”"

It’s not like Ujiri is not taking heat for the way things went down but we’re not sure how the conversation between him and DeRozan went down and both sides have their own version of it.

At the same time, it was hard to not see this coming given all the rumours surrounding DeRozan which started last offseason. He might feel betrayed but it would’ve been tough to expect the Raptors to roll out the same group and be successful even without LeBron in the East.

Boston and Philadelphia showed major improvement and are only going to get better so with the window seemingly closing, the Raptors are putting themselves in the best position to win a championship rather than just settle on making the playoffs.

Next. Kahwi Leonard passes his physical. dark

Regardless, the Raptors were not in a position to go into a complete rebuild and had a chance to get a player who could be an MVP candidate when he’s playing at his best.