DeRozan averaged nearly 20 points per game over his nine years in Toronto and led the Raptors to the number one overall seed in the Eastern Conference this season, but the team felt a change was necessary to reach the next level.
"Be told one thing & the outcome another".
"I think the whole time he's been here [in San Antonio] I've talked to him maybe a handful of times, and I can count on one hand how many words he's really said to me". But if a guy's not happy, he's got to go somewhere where he can play, and I think [coach] Pop [Gregg Popovich] and [general manager] R.C. [Buford] and our team did a pretty good job of kind of meeting our needs for the future.
During an appearance on Monday's episode of "The Jump", Hall of Famer David Robinson offered his reaction to the trade, calling it "one of the oddest situations I think I've seen since I've been in pro basketball". If there was a miscommunication there, I do apologize to DeMar and his family and his representation.
That face-to-face appeared to have happened later Friday evening, as the Raptors tweeted out a picture of Leonard and Ujiri together.
"I've had conversations with Kawhi, with his agent, with his uncle and everything has gone well", Ujiri said.
Immediately after the trade, ESPN's Chris Haynes reported that Leonard has no intention of staying in Toronto beyond next season. Considering the report of the Spurs wanting the team's entire young core except for Lonzo Ball, the Lakers did not have to gut their roster considering LeBron James' four-year commitment and can pursue Leonard in free agency.
It has been an emotional week for the 28-year-old and Raptors fans as the cost to acquire Kawhi Leonard means parting with a franchise player who clearly had an emotional connection with the fanbase and the city.