The early-morning trade that sent Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors and DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs had NBA Twitter buzzing, but not for the reasons you might expect. Yes, there was fallout from two All-Stars in their primes swapping conferences, but their fellow players were far more focused on what they perceived as lack of loyalty shown by the Raptors to DeRozan, something Toronto's all-time leading scorer touched on in his own Instagram Story.
As reports involving the Raptors possibly trading DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard escalate, here is DeMar's IG story: pic.twitter.com/Wbb72mw0qR— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) July 18, 2018
DeRozan's fellow NBA players, including former Raptors teammate Lou Williams, were quick to echo his thoughts about loyalty in a league that has seen 17 different former All-Stars traded since the start of last summer.
Na. They ain't snake my man like that. https://t.co/NL0b1EUg40— Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) July 18, 2018
I'm hurt bro. I'm hurt. My dog gave that city and organization his heart and soul. He was loyal to the soil and got stabbed in the back.— Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) July 18, 2018
Smh cold game— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) July 18, 2018
Just learn from my story! Loyalty is just a word in this game SMH— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) July 18, 2018
Other former teammates of DeRozan were quick to point out his importance to the franchise and that he should be honored in Toronto at some point in the future.
Is gonna be hard/weird checking the Raptors without @DeMar_DeRozan .— jose manuel calderon (@JmCalderon) July 18, 2018
He is gonna be missed!
Good luck in your new challenge!!!
You will be even better amigo!
Dear fans of Toronto,— Terrence Ross (@TFlight31) July 18, 2018
It's time you guys build a statue of @DeMar_DeRozan Regardless of what happens. He deserves it. 🇨🇦
No matter what...When I think of Toronto Raptors Basketball... I think of DeMar Derozan...He deserves a statue...🤷🏾♂️🤷🏾♂️💯💯💯— DeMarre Carroll (@DeMarreCarroll1) July 18, 2018
The Spurs official Twitter account welcomed DeRozan to San Antonio with a one-minute highlight reel, while posting simple "Thank You" images for Leonard and Danny Green, the other Spurs player involved in the trade.
Welcome to San Antonio, DeMar! pic.twitter.com/kpjhqYigvf— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) July 18, 2018
Green, meanwhile, posted a lengthy, heartfelt farewell message on his personal Instagram account.
SAN ANTONIO....Can't express the LOVE I have for you, the city, the fans & the organization. I want to thank you all for allowing me to be a part of something AMAZING for so many years. I have many great memories that I will take with me. Through the ups and downs you've always made me feel SPECIAL. I want to personally thank Pop and RC for being the first to believe in me and give me the opportunity. Thank you to my TEAMMATES for always encouraging me and being there for me (going to miss you guys the most)..so many battles. Thank you to the COMMUNITY for accepting me and allowing me to feel at HOME...all of you will ALWAYS be a big part of me and will ALWAYS be FAMILY! LOVE YOU ALL! Looking forward to my next chapter in TORONTO! #tothetruefans #THANKYOU #onceaspuralwaysaspur