DeMar DeRozan spent 9 years in Toronto, helping the Raptors stay competitive and becoming a fan-favorite.
When he was suddenly traded to the Spurs in 2018, many felt bad about his time there being cut short, especially given the relationship he had with the organization, his teammates, and the city itself.
Of course, nobody felt as bad as DeRozan himself, who had fallen in love with his situation. In a chat with Draymond Green, he reflected on what that trade was like for him, and how it was one of the hardest moments of his career.
"I went to Vegas, we all met, had a f-cking dinner, have a sit down and have a conversation about like, alright, we about to do this thing. We're about to give it one more shot, blah blah blah.
And two days later, you get a call. That was the sh-t that hurt. Tell me beforehand like, we're thinking about doing this.
He calls me, so, one, I'm in the movie theaters. To this day, I do not watch this movie. Equalizer 2. My phone keeps ringing. It's Massai so I'm like 'what the f-ck.' So he texted me and he said, 'Deebo, give me a call when you get a chance.' So as soon as I get a text back, I get on the Gram. I'm like, I don't see nothing on the Gram. I'm on Twitter, I'm googling sh-t. So I'm like 'alright.' So I leave the movie theater, get in the car, give him a call back. He didn't answer. He calls back, and he asks 'how was the movie?' Like, some casual sh-t.
He was like 'so yeah, we just traded you to San Antonio. I just wanted to let you know it's going to come out in the morning. And I was like, literally bro, I touched the driver, I said 'stop the car.' I got out the car and just walked down the street, hung up the phone, and just sat outside at a Jack-in-the-Box for two hours.
It was one of the toughest times ever because I really didn't have no guidance with this sh-t."
DeRozan was thought to be a Raptors-lifer, and everyone wanted to see him and Kyle Lowry win a ring together.
The Raptors, though, were not confident they could win with DeRozan and they made a trade for Kawhi Leonard that, to their credit, resulted in a Championship.
Today, DeRozan is preparing for his first season with the Bulls, where he hopes to lead a young and talented roster to new heights in the East. He seems to be enjoying his new surroundings well enough, but there is a sense that his heart will always remain in the city of Toronto.