DeMar DeRozan often spoke about his passion for, and commitment to, the Toronto Raptors. At the time of signing his 2016 deal at the Raptors, DeRozan even went so far as to say 'I am Toronto' and told fans of his desire to work as hard as possible to bring success to the franchise. Having been drafted by the Raptors in 2009 as the ninth overall pick, DeRozan's love for the city and the organisation flourished. However, just two years after signing a five-year deal, on July 18th 2018, news broke that DeRozan had been traded by Toronto to the San Antonio Spurs in return for Kawhi Leonard who has long been discontented with his place at San Antonio.

The surprise trade caught both players involved off-guard

DeMar was strikingly honest in his interview with ESPN, stating how the whole process of being traded has "been tough" and like being on a constant "rollercoaster" of emotions. The Californian shooting guard also spoke of how the trade came out of the blue for him as he had been engaged in talks throughout the Las Vegas summer league with Toronto GM, Masai Ujiri, over how he was going to contribute to the Raptors going forwards and the instrumental part he was going to play in furthering the franchise's success. DeRozan was deep into preparing for the upcoming season and looking forward to "having the opportunity to do something special all over again".

So, it's clear that there was an extreme lack of communication between Masai Ujiri and DeMar DeRozan in regards to the different options the Raptors were considering in relation to their star shooting guard.

Kyle Lowry wouldn't comment to the media on DeRozan

ESPN tried to speak to his friend and colleague Kyle Lowry, but he refused to talk to them.

This came ten days after DeRozan was "shipped to the San Antonio Spurs on July 18, along with centre Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick, in exchange for Kawhi Leonard and wing Danny Green." In fact, all Lowry would say everytime reporters asked him about his friend DeRozan, was said in the same way: "It's been a great week for USA basketball for me," he said.

"Being out here with these guys and hanging out and getting to talk and hang out with these guys and hanging out with DeMar and all those guys, it's been fun."

DeRozan said he gave 'everything' to the team

DeRozan was obviously extremely disappointed to hear that he would not be given the chance to continue building the Raptors franchise which he has openly spoken about his love for over the years. Of his experience playing in Toronto, DeRozan stated "I gave everything I had to that team" and had invested emotionally in being part of the long-term future of the organisation. So, speaking about his shock move, DeMar bluntly labelled the process as"'B.S.", showing that he is evidently still reeling from Toronto's betrayal after they gave him no inclination that he could expect to be traded this summer.

Moving forward with the Spurs

Despite his obvious disappointment about leaving Toronto, DeRozan spoke about his excitement to play under world-renowned coach, Greg Popovich. In his ESPN interview, DeRozan stated that he had "always been a fan of Pop" and named his new coach as"'one of those blessings that's in disguise" about the trade, as he will have the chance to grow as a player through the challenges of training with a new coach.

Pounding the Rock noted on Sunday (29th July), that he now seems to be moving on and he commented about playing with people like LaMarcus Aldridge. “LaMarcus by far one of the most talented power forwards in the game,” he said, as well as praising other team members.