When we were bad, I said I'm going to stick through this whole thing and I want to be that guy who brings this organization to where it is now. "I always preached it." said DeMar after Raptors season came to an end in 2016. "To Kawhi.we look forward to a this new chapter and we welcome you to the most intense and supportive city in NBA basketball!"
Top NBA stars Kawhi Leonard and DeMar Derozan switch teams and conference.
The Raptors acquired Leonard and Danny Green in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a 2019 first round pick. With an All-Star backcourt of DeRozan and Lowry and a deep roster of competent and versatile players, the idea was to try to squeeze a Finals-worthy team out of a collection of players that lacked a true superstar in a league dominated by superstars. What make things worse is, DeRozan showed his loyalty to the franchise in 2016 when he didn't even bother to meet with any clubs during free agency and chose to re-up with the team, only to be traded less than two years later. He also loved the team back, re-signing here (for huge dollars) just a couple of years ago, the first player of his calibre to not eventually spurn the Raptors for somewhere in the United States.
"He was incredibly gracious and very humble", Best said.
"We have a lot of young kids and it's exciting". He took pictures with them and signed autographs.
Initial conversations have been positive, according to Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star, and the earlier talk that Leonard had no interest in playing in Toronto was quieted down.
DeRozan has spent his entire career in Toronto, last season he had his best season statistically with averages of 23 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists.
In a statement to CBC Toronto, the executive director of Lupus Canada, Leanne Mielczarek, said DeRozan's work with her organization "has been instrumental in helping create awareness of this under-funded and under-recognized disease".
Mayor John Tory even weighed in on Twitter Wednesday. He's been here quite a while and was a big part of what we do on and off the court.
Tan says, because of everything DeRozan has done for the team and the city, it's going to be hard to see wearing a different uniform next season. Although the Clippers are not in the same contending status as the Lakers, Leonard would have gotten his wish to go to LA and could have battled LeBron James after the Clippers extended him to the supermax.