DeMar DeRozan doesn’t appear to accept Masai Ujiri’s apology

Annette Crawford
July 21, 2018

Then (12:00): mixed emotions for Raptors fans and DeRozan in the wake of this deal, and whether he'll make another All-Star team in San Antonio ...

"I want to not only apologize to DeMar DeRozan for maybe a gap in miscommunication but also to acknowledge him and what he's done here with the Raptors, for this city, for this country, there's no measure to what this kid has done", Ujiri told the Toronto media at a news conference Friday morning.

After playing his entire career with the Raptors who drafted him in 2009, DeRozan has been traded to the San Antonio Spurs.

Now, Ujiri says, the Raptors "are stepping on territory that we never have".

"I think Toronto lost a great player, man", said Tan.

According to the Toronto Star, Ujiri later elaborated Friday that the Raptors weren't the frontrunners to land Leonard at the time of the Summer League conversation and he therefore told DeRozan's agent that nothing was imminent.

Leonard, the 2014 NBA Finals MVP, has twice finished in the top three in MVP voting and is a two-time victor of the league's Defensive Player of the Year award.

Much of Leonard's unhappiness in San Antonio centred how the Spurs handled the ongoing problems with his right quadriceps. He can become a free agent next summer, and has stated his desire to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. In return, the Raptors will receive Leonard and Danny Green.

Tan says, because of everything DeRozan has done for the team and the city, it's going to be hard to see wearing a different uniform next season.

Either way, it's up to Ujiri to sell Leonard on the benefits of living north of the border. We have everything here except a championship, in my humble opinion. But it's the nature of the beast and it's just another reason why players should feel no remorse for acting in their own best interests. When asked if he would be ready to suit up for the Raptors, Ujiri said Leonard would be undergoing a physical in the next few days. DeRozan was thrown off by the deal, reportedly feeling as though the Raptors lied to him about the possibility of a trade, and Ujiri took time Friday at a news conference at Scotiabank Arena to clear the air and apologize.

DeRozan and Leonard are expected to be on the court together next week when USA Basketball convenes a national team training camp in Las Vegas.

His loyalty was repaid with a one-way ticket to San Antonio.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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