CHIARI_VFX/iStock/Thinkstock(TORONTO) — Toronto Raptors team president Masai Ujiri issued an apology to former player DeMar DeRozan on Friday, saying the shooting guard’s frustration over being traded this week was the result of “miscommunication.”
DeRozan was dealt to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday in a deal that brought former NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard to Toronto. Afterwards, DeRozan posted a story to his Instagram page saying “Be told one thing & the outcome another. Can’t trust em. Ain’t no loyalty in this game. Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing . . . Soon you’ll understand . . . Don’t disturb . . .”
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Ujiri said he spoke with DeRozan at the NBA’s summer league earlier in the month. “I think maybe my mistake was talking about what we expected going forward from him,” Ujiri said. “So, not necessarily talking about a trade, but what I expect from him going forward, and I think that’s where the gap was.”
ESPN reported Wednesday that neither DeRozan nor Leonard was enthusiastic about the trade. Leonard has made clear that he wants to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers next summer.
Ujiri went on to apologize to DeRozan and his family for the apparent miscommunication. But, he explained the trade saying “when you have a chance to get a top-five player, which doesn’t come very often, I think you have to jump on it.”
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