DeMar DeRozan says he would have won a title with Raptors

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: DeMar DeRozan #10 and Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: DeMar DeRozan #10 and Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors’ treatment of DeMar DeRozan is well known by the general basketball public at this point. He is a franchise legend who remains the all-time leading scorer in club history, but the team hit a ceiling with him as the featured offensive option.

After being traded to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard, DeRozan had to watch as all his old teammates won a title on the back of Leonard’s dominant postseason. DeRozan hasn’t gotten close to those lofty heights since with the Spurs or Chicago Bulls.

DeRozan is often asked about his departure from Toronto, especially considering how they won immediately after he left. On Stephen A. Smith’s broadcast of the Nuggets-Suns playoff game, DeRozan thought he would have won a title if he didn’t get traded away.

“It sucks that we couldn’t see what happened,” DeRozan said. “With me still being there, it changes the whole dynamic and everything…I congratulated all of those guys for winning that championship, every guy that I played with. That country, that city, they deserved it.”

“But I definitely think, we would’ve done the same thing.”

DeMar DeRozan said he would have won with 2019 Raptors.

On one hand, the 2019 Raptors were one of the deepest teams in recent memory, so DeRozan’s scoring would have fit in nicely on a team that used to overwhelm teams with their depth and consistency. He is still an effective scorer.

On the other, even the biggest DeRozan fan will admit that Leonard is a far superior player. The Raptors hit a ceiling with DeRozan, and Leonard was that extra punch of scoring excellence and defensive wizardry they needed to take that step towards contention.

DeRozan’s legacy in Toronto may not include a championship ring, but  his name is still all over the franchise record books and his No. 10 will almost assuredly be retired when his career is over. That’s pretty sweet too.

It would have been nice to see DeRozan get that ring after all of his excellent years of service, but Raptors fans will likely take the ring. Hopefully this will bring an end to the nonstop questioning of DeRozan as it relates to the end of his Raptors tenure.

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