Kawhi Leonard may not ultimately stay in Toronto for very long but the Raptors made the calculated gamble to acquire the All-NBA forward and, in doing so, elected to part ways with All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan in the process. While the move was almost unanimously praised from a basketball perspective for Leonard’s new team, there is the personal aspect of the NBA business and, in short, this appears to be a rather cold move from an organization that employed DeRozan for the entirety of his career.
Reporting has emerged that the Raptors told DeRozan, just days ago in Las Vegas, that he wouldn’t be traded and his social media reactions paint a picture of a player that is not enjoying the news that he is headed elsewhere.
With that in mind, several NBA players and colleagues of DeRozan have reached out with support on Twitter. Former teammates Lou Williams and Charlie Villanueva shared surprise and bewilderment with the news.
Elsewhere, Damian Lillard and Marcus Thornton seemingly reflected on the trade with the same phrase, while Enes Kanter chastised the Raptors for giving away a “loyal player.”
Former teammate Jose Calderon expressed positivity on DeRozan’s behalf and wished him luck in the future.
And, finally, former Raptors DeMarre Carroll and Terrence Ross called for the construction of a DeRozan statue in Toronto.
The next steps will be interesting on all sides of this trade, with two All-Stars changing teams and the direction of two franchises in the balance. For now, though, everyone seems to empathize with DeRozan, and it is easy to see why.