Two summers ago, DeMar DeRozan was on the other end of franchise-altering trade for the Toronto Raptors. Last season, he had to watch from a distance as his former team celebrated its first-ever NBA championship run without him.
DeRozan, now a shooting guard on the San Antonio Spurs, was asked about that bittersweet sensation on Monday at San Antonio’s media day. According to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News, DeRozan said he was “happy for (the Raptors).”
“We (are) all human. We all feel some typo of way, when you see a previous situation you were a part of accomplish something great that you were after when you were there, of course,” DeRozan said. “But, at the same time, the relationship I have with a lot of those guys, I was happy. Good for them. Happy for them. I spent a lot of time with a few of them guys this off-season. It was good for them.”
After being selected by Toronto ninth overall in the 2009 NBA Draft, DeRozan spent his first nine seasons with the team before being traded as the main piece in a trade that yielded Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in July 2018. DeRozan is signed with San Antonio through the upcoming season, with a player option worth more than $27.7 million for the 2020-21 season.
“I spent nine years of my basketball career there,” DeRozan said Monday. “Even at times when I see pictures, seeing my jersey on in the crowd, you are there some way, somehow. You got to be happy with that.”