In a recent interview with ESPN's Chris Haynes, DeMar DeRozan finally opened up about his unexpected trade to the San Antonio Spurs and admitted that he's still shocked about it.
He spoke at length about how he felt betrayed by Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri and was blindsided by the deal.
But that interview was one way of DeRozan coming to terms with the decision and finding a way to move on.
Seeing the positives
The shooting guard has accepted that he'll be a Spurs player for at least another three years and is trying to view the positives it could have on his career.
Following Thursday's Team USA practice in Las Vegas, he was asked about his new team and he explained how he's looking forward to playing with fellow All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge.
In the early part of his career in Toronto, DeRozan played with Chris Bosh and he sees similarities between the two big men.
“LaMarcus, by far, is one of the most talented power forwards in this game,” DeRozan said via Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express.
“He’s proven that year in and year out. For me not having played with a power forward of that magnitude since Chris Bosh in my rookie year, to have a guy like that (is great).”
Like Kawhi Leonard this summer, Aldridge requested a trade away from San Antonio last year as he was unhappy with his role on the team.
But after a heart-to-heart with head coach Gregg Popovich, he was convinced to stay and he went on to have one of the best seasons of his career.
With Leonard missing most of the campaign, the veteran became the focal point of the Spurs team and posted 23.1 points per game.
The 33-year-old can certainly form a solid partnership with his new teammate and they can share the scoring load too.
DeRozan also discussed how much he's looking forward to working under Popovich and learning from him.
The two didn't waste any time getting to work as coach Pop used some of the Team USA practice session to give him some pointers on his game.
“His resume speaks for itself,” DeRozan said of Popovich. “If you are a basketball fan and you know the game, Pop is one of those guys you definitely have to be a fan of, inside and out.”
Seeing the 28-year-old in a Spurs uniform will take some getting used to but it could turn out to be a great fit for him and the franchise.
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