DeMar DeRozan says he wanted to run things back one last time with the Raptors after LeBron James signed with the Lakers.
The Raptors’ pre-Kawhi era was defined by a series of unceremonious playoff exits. They got knocked out in the first round by the Nets in 2014 and the Wizards in 2015. They managed to make a run to the Conference Finals in 2016 only to get bullied by James and co.
The Cavs in 2017 were one of the greatest playoff teams in history to not win the title. They dismantled the Raptors in the second round with a sweep that year. Despite losing Kyrie Irving to the Celtics, LeBron James turned Toronto into LeBronto in another sweep the following year.
DeRozan was criticized for wilting on the playoff stage before 2018. But the way in which he played against the Cavs piled the agony onto him. It was almost clear that Masai Ujiri would be willing to trade him away, and he eventually worked a trade bringing Kawhi to Toronto.
DeMar DeRozan opens up about getting one last run with the Raptors
Appearing on All The Smoke podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, DeMar Derozan talked at length about his trade. He was assured he wouldn’t be traded by Ujiri merely days before news of his trade to San Antonio came through. It came as a shock to Deebo, who’s already been a victim of depression in the past.
“Bron decides to go to L.A., so we like sh*t. He’s the only person we ain’t lost to, maybe we have one more chance at this thing. That kind of eased our mind for a second cause there’s only like one motherf***ker we weren’t able to get past. We bout to at least run it back on more time and give it a shot. That was our mindset.”
DeRozan has recently been speculated to be on the way to LA. This would be a homecoming of sorts for the Compton native.