Almost everyone in the NBA knew that Kawhi Leonard was on his way out of San Antonio, just not via the Toronto Raptors trading four-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan to the Spurs for the two-time Defensive Player of the Year and Finals MVP.
In the deal that was finalized on Wednesday, the Spurs will also receive center Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick from the Raptors for Leonard and guard Danny Green. While the San Antonio side of the swap was somewhat expected, few saw Toronto shipping its longtime franchise player, including DeRozan himself, who got cryptic on his Instagram Stories hours before the announcement:
According to Turner Sports' David Aldridge, DeMar is "extremely upset," standing by his "claim (that) he was lied to by Toronto regarding a potential trade, per source." And why wouldn't he, as Toronto's all-time leader in points scored (13,296), games played (675), and field goals (4,716) and free throws (3,359) made?
The move must've felt like a knife in the back for a superstar player who has dedicated his entire professional basketball life to the organization that drafted him ninth overall in 2009. You know that there's something wrong with a reported trade when the rest of the league has a similar shocked and negative reaction to it.
The biggest NBA stars shook their collective heads in disbelief once news of the deal broke out.
Those who have experienced this kind of "betrayal" firsthand know how DeRozan feels right now.
Take it from his former teammates, who had courtside seats to DeMar's loyalty to the franchise.
Although a fellow player doesn't have to share a locker room with the estranged man to empathize.
At least Drake gave a more fitting farewell.