The Toronto Raptors president shipped franchise icon DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs for the exchange of Kawhi Leonard last July 2018. DeRozan was shocked at that moment hurt his feelings as Ujiri promised him not to be traded after talking to him.
Masai Ujiri moved was paid off on their side as the Raptors captured their first title. They have also Pascal Siakam who leading the team as the fourth seed this season. The Raptors executive mentioned that he’s working to fix that relationship.
“It’s not easy,” Ujiri said of making such decisions in an interview with TNT’s Ernie Johnson that aired on the NBA’s Twitter account. “If you have that human part of you, you feel it in your heart.” With Casey, it has gotten so much better now with his family and him. With DeMar there is still plenty of work to be done. But, by the grace of God, it will all get better. We have to continue to make theses decisions that are tough. But that’s the business of basketball, and the position that we are in.”
DeMar DeRozan is on his second year with the Spurs uniform. He led the Raptors franchise to five straight playoff appearances from 2014-2018. They reach the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016.