DeMar DeRozan was a Toronto Raptor for the past nine seasons. He and Kyle Lowry led the team to five playoff appearances. They would make it to the conference finals one time in the 2016 playoffs. They would make it to the second round twice which was 2018 and 2017. They were eliminated in the first round in the 2015 and 2014 playoffs. In the past five years, they were eliminated by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Just in those past three playoffs, they have two wins and twelve losses. Of course, LeBron and the Cavs have been such a pain for the Raptors to play. LeBron has swept the Raptors twice in a row. The point is, the Raptors had it tough in the Eastern Conference the past five years. It didn’t matter if they were the first seed or not, they lost every year to LeBron. So I understand why the Raptors traded for Kawhi Leonard. How would this affect the Western conference? What about the East? Most importantly, how will this affect DeRozan?
DeMar DeRozan had a good season last year. He averaged 23 points per game on 45.6% shooting from the field and he also dished out 3.1 assists. He was an all-star last year and he also was named to the All-NBA second team. DeMar is in his prime and he was traded this offseason for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Greem. On paper, this is a solid trade for both teams. Kawhi Leonard is coming off an “injury” that kept him out all of last season and Danny Green who is an aging role player that still has some left in the tank. DeMar DeRozan is a great player in his prime. Jakob Poetl is a young, rim-protecting big man.
The San Antonio Spurs are in an awkward position because they are in the middle of the pack. They have stars in LaMarcus Aldridge and now DeMar DeRozan. They made this trade to get rid of a disgruntled superstar that refused to play. We don’t know the whole story as of this time, but the trade made sense for both sides. But, you have to think about the relationships that DeRozan had made. Lowry and DeRozan were very close, they brought excitement back to Toronto basketball. The NBA is a business and it can be cutthroat. DeMar is now on a mission to beat the Raptors, NBA fans need to circle that first game against the Raptors. DeRozan is one of the toughest players in the NBA, he will fit perfectly in Popovic’s system.