Kyle Lowry vividly recalls DeMar DeRozan crying to him after Toronto Raptors traded him for Kawhi Leonard: ‘I was distraught’

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In the summer of 2018, DeMar DeRozan was traded from the Toronto Raptors to the San Antonio Spurs. The deal brought Kawhi Leonard to Toronto and sent shock waves throughout the NBA.

DeRozan had spent every year of his NBA career with the Raptors before the trade went down, and many of those years came alongside now-Miami Heat star Kyle Lowry. DeRozan was devastated when he got dealt. Shortly after learning the news, he called Lowry, who listened while DeRozan cried into the speaker.

“I was distraught,” Lowry said to GQ. “Because he was really distraught. That’s my brother. I ain’t talk for like five minutes — just sitting there with him on the phone. You don’t know what to say; he never thought he would be traded. For both of us, it was like, ‘Goddamn!’”

Lowry explained that DeRozan poured his “heart and soul” into Toronto, which made the trade extremely difficult.

“S— happens,” Lowry said. “But, for him to have poured so much into a country, a city and a franchise, where guys didn’t wanna go and didn’t want to stay, and he’s pouring his heart and soul into that? It hurt.”

Unfortunately for DeRozan, the Raptors won an NBA title in their first season after trading him away. Leonard and Lowry were able to lead Toronto to the 2019 championship.

That was likely just salt in the wound for DeRozan, who is still trying to win his first ring. On the bright side, it seems like he has a solid chance to get one this season.

DeRozan, who’s now with the Chicago Bulls, is having a phenomenal season. To sweeten the deal, Chicago is in a virtual tie for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with an impressive 37-21 record.

Before the 2021-22 campaign started, many folks thought DeRozan’s best seasons were already behind him, but he’s proving that notion wrong. The 32-year-old is averaging 27.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game this season.

He’d surely love nothing more than to win a title of his own while still playing at a high level. Time will tell if that’s in the cards.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.