Similarly to how DeRozan was shell-shocked when Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri pulled the trigger to trade the long-time Raptor to the San Antonio Spurs in the Kawhi Leonard deal, Subban himself was part of a league-shaking blockbuster back in the summer of 2016 when the Montreal Canadiens sent him to the Predators for Shea Weber.
In both Subban and DeRozan’s cases, the Canadiens and Raptors each drafted and developed the two men into all-stars. Along the way, the pair managed to endear themselves deeply to their respective fan bases.
As such, when Subban was dealt from the Habs it appeared to hurt him personally, just the same as DeRozan.
“DeMar was really a staple in the city, he’s a great basketball player, he was great for the city of Toronto, he’s in that category of having a positive impact just like Vince Carter did,” Subban said at a charity event in Toronto Monday.
“For the generation that’s been able to watch DeMar grow, me included, we have a big appreciation for what he’s done for this city and for the franchise. Being traded before, I kind of know what it feels like to be traded when your heart’s one place, but I think for him, moving forward, it’s gonna be a great opportunity for him to go into a team that has a great system and a great coach and I think he’ll thrive under that.
“We all know as athletes it’s a part of the business, so you come and go, you just try to give all you can where you are, do the best that you can until it’s time to move on and that’s just the way it is.”
For DeRozan, the wound still seems too fresh for any real healing to begin between him and the Raptors organization, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get to that point eventually. The love Raptors fans have for DeRozan will likely never dissipate, just like Subban’s special relationship with the Canadiens faithful.