The Toronto Raptors made one of the biggest headlines of the 2018 NBA offseason when they traded DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a future first-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. The controversial trade earned plenty of criticisms from the Raptors fans who believe that the team traded their most loyal player for a possible one-year rental.
DeMar DeRozan admitted that he felt betrayed by the Raptors, but as of now, he is trying to keep his focus on making himself fit on his new team. One of the first people who welcomed DeRozan in San Antonio is his former Raptors teammate Rudy Gay. DeRozan and Gay played together in Toronto in 2013.
Like DeRozan, Gay also ended up being traded by the Raptors. However, the 31-year-old power forward believes DeRozan has something to be happy about now that he is a member of the Spurs. In a recent interview with Dom Amore of Hartford Courant, Gay explained what makes the Spurs a better organization than the Raptors.
“The best part about San Antonio, they do right by you,” Gay said. “They do right by their players, do right by their staff. That doesn’t happen much in the NBA, to be honest with you. It doesn’t happen much. On one side, there was [Leonard] that was trying to get out, get to a bigger market, and they were totally being upfront with him, and then they trade him for a guy [DeRozan] where that organization wasn’t being upfront with him at all. So, I mean, it’s just night and day.”
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) August 6, 2018
Rudy Gay said that the deal that sent DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio showed the difference between the Spurs and the Raptors. Before parting ways with Kawhi Leonard, Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich first tried to fix their relationship with the All-Star forward. Though Leonard missed the most of the 2017-18 NBA season, the Spurs were still willing to give him a massive contract extension.
Meanwhile, after the Raptors were swept by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semis, rumors and speculations started to circulate that Toronto would consider parting ways with one of their superstars. DeMar DeRozan reportedly got an assurance from the Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri that they won’t trade him this offseason.
However, they still ended up trading DeRozan to the Spurs, believing Kawhi Leonard can carry the Raptors to a higher level next season. If DeRozan wants loyalty, honesty, and compassion from a team, Rudy Gay is confident to say that the All-Star shooting guard is currently in the right place.