Toronto, the world’s best in one colourful place
Born and raised in Compton, DeRozan moved to Toronto in 2009 with nothing more than a spirit of hope and optimism. It didn’t take long for him to realize that Toronto deserved to be looked as the world’s best in one colourful place instead of where losing sports teams can be always found. I think this is also the realization our Tamil folks proudly wear on their sleeve, remembering the opportunity to rebuild a life that was bestowed upon them. But it’s not only the Tamil communities (or in this case DeRozan’s) prerogative to echo their gratitude because we know how much a city can benefit. Whether it’s the Tamil people’s immense contribution to evolve this city or DeRozan’s, Toronto will equally be grateful for people who embrace the city and leave a mark.
What I think about the trade
I don’t think this trade was a home-run for the Raptors, but it certainly was a stand-up double. There’s no denying that the Raptors needed to make immediate changes because reoccurring episodes of inconsistent playoff basketball was reaching its peak. Being swept in the playoffs three out of the past four times has a lot to do with how dismal DeRozan’s performance has been. In fact, it has been so bad that his struggle is the norm which his fans are reluctant to admit.
Masai Ujiri signed DeRozan to a 5 year $139 million contract in 2016, which at that time was the second largest contract in the history of the NBA, surpassing the seven-year, $136.4 million deal Kobe got in 2014. It was a dreadful mistake by Ujiri because it’s hard to believe that any other team would’ve signed him to this ludicrous deal. But perhaps Ujiri believed more in the playoff curse that was haunting DeRozan than his inconsistent play, and therefore signed him thinking that he can become a more, well-rounded player. It has only been two years into his new contract and Ujiri finally confronts his failed hypothesis. He understands that it might be LeBron, or a curse, or a mental problem, that the Raptors can’t seem to get past. But more importantly, he also acknowledges that his players are simply not good enough, and it’s for this reason why he made this trade.
Now let me try and unpack this