DeMar DeRozan's take on being traded for Kawhi Leonard: 'Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing'

Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan was the first player informed of the blockbuster trade that upon its completion will send him in a package to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for disgruntled San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, and let’s just say the four-time All-Star wasn’t too happy.

“Told one thing and the outcome another,” DeRozan wrote in an Instagram story early Wednesday morning, suggesting the Raptors informed him he would not be included in a rumored deal for Leonard. “Can’t trust ’em. Ain’t no loyalty in this game. Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing.”

“Soon you’ll understand,” he added, before signing off for the night: “Don’t disturb.”

DeRozan signed a five-year, $139 million max contract to stay with the team that drafted him ninth overall in 2009, committing to a Raptors core that was coming off the franchise’s first Eastern Conference finals appearance in 2016. His friendship with All-Star backcourt partner Kyle Lowry has been the foundation of unprecedented success in Toronto. The 28-year-old DeRozan is a lethal scorer at the rim and from mid-range who finished eighth in the NBA’s MVP balloting this past season.

The debate over the absence of loyalty in the NBA has gained steam in recent years. Fans and teams will point to Kevin Durant’s decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors team that eliminated them in the seven-game 2016 Western Conference finals. And players will point to Isaiah Thomas, who played through a hip injury and his sister’s death to lead the Boston Celtics to the 2017 East finals, only to be traded for Kyrie Irving to the team that eliminated them.

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DeMar DeRozan through his NBA career
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DeMar DeRozan through his NBA career
Toronto Raptors NBA draft pick DeMar DeRozan speaks to the media in Toronto June 26, 2009. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA SPORT BASKETBALL)
Toronto Raptors first round draft pick DeMar DeRozan (R) poses for photos in a chef's hat as Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo looks on during the NBA team's media day before the start of training camp in Toronto September 28, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Cassese (CANADA SPORT BASKETBALL)
Toronto Raptors forward DeMar DeRozan goes to the basket against Orlando Magic guard Jameer Nelson (R) during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Toronto November 1, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Cassese (CANADA SPORT BASKETBALL)
Toronto Raptors' DeMar Derozan, Chris Bosh, Antoine Wright, and Jarret Jack (L-R) smile while wearing Toronto Huskies jerseys during a break in play against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second half of their NBA basketball game in Toronto December 8, 2009. The jerseys were designed to commemorate the Toronto Huskies, who only played in NBA's inaugural 1946-1947 season. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA SPORT BASKETBALL)
Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan reacts to a foul call against him in first quarter action against the Boston Celtics during their NBA game in Boston, Massachusetts January 2, 2010. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Toronto Raptors forward DeMar DeRozan gets tangled in the net after a dunk against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Toronto February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Cassese (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan (R) looks to pass as Los Angeles Lakers' Ron Artest defends during the first quarter of their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, California November 5, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan scratches his head after he was called for a foul against the Boston Celtics in first quarter action during their NBA basketball game in Boston, Massachusetts November 26, 2010. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL HEADSHOT)
Toronto Raptors forward DeMar DeRozan (C) slam dunks between Sacramento Kings forwards Jermaine Taylor (L) and Samuel Dalembert (R) during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Toronto January 9, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Cassese (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Toronto Raptors forwards Ed Davis and DeMar DeRozan (R) pose for photos during the NBA team's annual media day in Toronto December 12, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Cassese (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) drives for a layup past New Jersey Nets forward Kris Humphries (C) and guard Anthony Morrow (R) in the third quarter of their NBA basketball game in Newark, New Jersey, January 29, 2012. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan drives to the basket past Memphis Grizzlies' Tony Allen in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Toronto March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Toronto Raptors' Demar DeRozan smiles during the team's media day before the upcoming NBA basketball season in Toronto October 1, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan puts up a shot over Milwaukee Bucks Monta Ellis (L) during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Toronto, January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Nov 26, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) shoots against the Brooklyn Nets at Air Canada Centre. The Nets beat the Raptors 102-100. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Eastern Conference guard DeMar DeRozan during the 2014 NBA All Star game Player Press Conferences at New Orleans Hyatt. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) celebrates a basket against the Golden State Warriors at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 29, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) carries the ball past Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll (5) during the first half at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 30, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez (21) congratulates guard DeMar DeRozan (10) after a play against the Houston Rockets at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Houston 99-96. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
November 17, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors center Festus Ezeli (31) during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) dribbles past Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington (33) during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 12, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Eastern Conference guard DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors (10) is interviewed during media day for the 2016 NBA All Star Game at Sheraton Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) reacts after getting his second technical then evicted from the game against the Houston Rockets in the second half at Toyota Center. The Rockets won 112-109. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) kisses his daughter, Diar, after the Raptors 89-84 win over Indiana Pacers in game seven of the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) goes up for a rebound against the Denver Nuggets in the first half at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 8, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) takes a free throw during a 129-122 loss to Houston Rockets at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 17, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Toronto Raptors player DeMar DeRozan during the All Star media availability at the Ritz Carlton. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 19, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) dunks for a basket against Washington Wizards in the second half at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) drives against Chicago Bulls guard Justin Holiday (7) during the second half at United Center. Raptors won 122-98. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) reacts to a non call by official Marc Davis (8) late in the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Air Canada Centre. Oklahoma City defeated Toronto. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) drives against Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) in the fourth quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
MAY 8 - Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan talks to the media during a season ending availability at the BioSteel Centre, Toronto. The Raptors ended their season, losing in a four game sweep tot the Cleveland Cavaliers. May 8, 2018 Bernard Weil/Toronto Star (Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
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DeRozan wasn’t breaking news by calling out the business side of the NBA, although he might have helped break news of the actual trade. But the deal stings no less for DeRozan, who was genuinely invested in the Raptors’ success and has spent much of his adult life raising a family in Toronto.

On the flip side, the Raptors did not sell him out for “a little bit of nothing.” Leonard is a top-three talent when healthy, challenged only by Durant and LeBron James, and that kind of player can elevate a franchise from Eastern Conference also-ran to Finals contender overnight. Still, that’s not the argument you want to hear when your GM wakes you up at 4 a.m. telling you to pack your bags.

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Ben Rohrbach is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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